Washington Post: Markwayne Mullin threatened US Embassy staff while trying to enter Afghanistan

The Post reported that Mullin called the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan on Monday, informing them that he would be flying from the country of Georgia to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, in a few hours and that he wanted to be there. help with carrying a large amount of cash, the Post reported.

The Oklahoma congressman told the embassy he planned to rescue five U.S. citizens, a woman and her four children, from Afghanistan by hiring a helicopter, two U.S. officials told the newspaper.

Embassy officials rejected Mullin’s request, saying they could not help him bypass Tajikistan’s currency restrictions on his way to Afghanistan, the Post reported.

Shocked by the response he received, Mullin then threatened the senior diplomat, Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim, and embassy staff, according to the Post.

On Tuesday evening, US officials told the Post they were unsure of Mullin’s whereabouts.

Mullin “has been and is currently completely safe,” spokeswoman Meredith Blanford said in a statement Tuesday evening, without giving details of his current location.

Mullin posted on his Instagram early Wednesday morning that he wasn’t missing out, but “clouded over a bit, yes because he wasn’t sure whether to communicate.”

“Did we help get the Americans out of Afghanistan, yes. Does the mission continue, yes,” he wrote.

Blanford said Mullin and his congressional office “will continue to do everything in our power to bring all Americans back from the war zone that President (Joe) Biden has abandoned. The safety and security of the American people will be always his top priority. “

“We have no further comments at the moment,” she added.

CNN has contacted the State Department and Mullin’s office for further comment.

The State Department declined to comment on the Post regarding Mullin’s trip or interactions with the Tajikistan embassy, ​​and it again declined to comment in a briefing Wednesday with reporters.

Instead, spokesman Ned Price told reporters the department does not recommend travel to Afghanistan.

“We have made it clear that traveling to Afghanistan is not safe,” Price said. “We have issued a series of increasingly urgent warnings to the American people … over the months, and indeed over the past 20 years, regarding the potential dangers of a trip to Afghanistan.”

The incident was Mullin’s second attempt to attempt to reach Afghanistan, the Post noted.

The Republican lawmaker visited Greece last week and asked the Pentagon for permission to enter Kabul, but his request was rejected, according to the Post.

Two other members of Congress – Representatives Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan – made an unauthorized visit to Afghanistan last week as the United States rushed to evacuate Americans and their allies, arousing strong criticism from their colleagues. .

The two Iraq war veterans said they traveled to Kabul “to oversee” the US evacuation mission. The couple left Afghanistan on a military plane.

Before their trip was disclosed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had discouraged members from traveling to Afghanistan, arguing that such a trip “would unnecessarily divert necessary resources” from evacuation efforts. The Defense Ministry has also advised against “VIP visits” to Afghanistan.

On Monday, the last US military planes left Afghanistan, marking the end of a heavy, chaotic and bloody exit from America’s longest war.

“It is a sad day for our country,” Mullin said in a statement Monday. “The Americans were stranded in Afghanistan by the Biden administration and must now defend themselves against the terrorists invading the country. One of the mottos of our military is ‘leave no one behind.’ But today it is. is exactly what President Biden did. “

An estimated 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan and intend to leave, Biden said in remarks Tuesday. He added that most are dual nationals or long-time residents who have decided to stay in the country because of their family ties.

The State Department said it will continue to help U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar.

The department issued a travel advisory on Tuesday, warning Americans not to travel to Afghanistan “due to civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, terrorism, kidnappings and COVID-19.”

This story was updated with additional details on Wednesday.