The Biden administration continues to face mounting criticism over its handling of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that left thousands of Americans stranded as the Taliban exerts control throughout the nation.
Making matters worse, Politico reports that U.S. citizens are paying as much as $2,000 to secure their evacuation from Afghanistan.
“The situation is extremely fluid”
This revelation is just the latest chaotic twist in a frantic effort to airlift as many Americans and allies out of the war-torn country as possible.
Of course, the White House is dismissing the reports that Americans are being forced to pay steep fares for flights out of Afghanistan even as President Joe Biden seeks to avoid accountability at all costs.
The State Department indicated that the federal government might request reimbursement for evacuation flights, but Politico’s report on Thursday indicated that Americans in the Afghan capital city of Kabul are being asked to make “large payments” before securing a flight.
“U.S. law requires that evacuation assistance to private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided ‘on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable,'” the State Department explained. “The situation is extremely fluid, and we are working to overcome obstacles as they arise.”
News of such payments come after days of bleak messaging from the Biden administration, including the Pentagon’s recent advisory that the U.S. can no longer guarantee the safety of Americans who have not yet made it to the international airport in Kabul.
The State Department appears to have revised its earlier statement on Thursday, however, declaring that Americans are receiving free flights out of Kabul.
“In these unique circumstances, we have no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan,” said spokesperson Ned Price.
After days of chaos and the fate of up to 15,000 Americans uncertain, Biden finally answered questions from reporters during a press briefing on Friday.
Although he clung to the talking point that Taliban militants are cooperating with U.S. efforts to evacuate Americans, he offered a lackluster promise to those in harm’s way, asserting: “I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or that it will be without risk of loss, but as commander-in-chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize every resource necessary.”
Given the mixed messages from the White House and horrific scenes playing out in Afghanistan, it is no wonder that Biden’s approval rating has hit its lowest point yet and some Republicans are even floating the possibility of impeachment.