Jacobs Joins Colleagues in Calling for Needed Transparency from President
(Erie County, N.Y.) – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined House Republican colleagues in calling for the President to provide transparency into his July 23rd call with former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
“The President’s handling of our withdrawal from Afghanistan was devastating. His actions put Americans and our allies directly in harm’s way, weakened our global reputation, and resulted in the deaths of 13 American service members and the abandonment of hundreds of Americans still stuck in Afghanistan,” Jacobs said. “The American people deserve to know what led to this catastrophe and whether or not the President pushed President Ghani to downplay the threat the Taliban posed. The White House must release the full transcript of this call at once.”
The letter to President Biden was led by Congresswoman Tenney (NY-22) and has 27 signatories. It calls for the President to release the full, unredacted transcript of his July 23rd call with former Afghan President Ghani so Congress can determine to what degree the President may have misled the American people.
Full text of the letter can be found here:
Dear President Biden:
The last several weeks have been a difficult time as Americans and the world question our nation’s leadership and credibility. Under your direction as Commander in Chief, the withdrawal of American troops and interests from Afghanistan was chaotic and deadly. Our nation watched scenes of the hurried retreat, including helicopter airlifts from the U.S. embassy in Kabul, in disbelief and mourned together as 13 servicemembers were killed by terrorists. While the last American servicemember has departed from Afghanistan, untold hundreds of American citizens and billions of dollars in military hardware remain behind in the Taliban controlled nation.
In the period leading up to the withdrawal, your administration made a series of false assurances to the American people and our allies regarding the situation on the ground. The contrast between your Administration’s official spin and the reality on the ground revealed a bewildering lack of coherence, strategy, and fundamental transparency. It appeared repeatedly as if your Administration was engaging in a deliberate effort to conceal the truth and mislead the American public. On August 31, new evidence emerged that suggests this is exactly what you have been doing since the start of this operation. A troubling new revelation arose that demands immediate explanation. Reuters released excerpts from a July 23 conversation between yourself and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in which you reportedly pressure Ghani to “project a different picture” than the reality on the ground “whether it is true or not.” The transcripts also indicate that you promised to provide air support to the Afghan military, a vow you never fulfilled.
This damning phone call further erodes your credibility and the confidence of the American people in your ability to lead. Your disturbing emphasis on “perception,” a term you used four times in the Reuters excerpts of the call with Ghani, over substance and truth demands scrutiny and accountability We hereby request that you make the full, unedited and unredacted transcripts of your July 23 conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani public so Congress can determine the degree to which you may have deliberately misled the American people leading up to and during this disastrously executed operation. You must provide a more fulsome picture of the events that led to the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Congress has a duty to oversee the Executive. The American people deserve answers and clarity. We urge that your administration expeditiously releases the full transcripts of the call.