State Dept. admits number of Americans still trapped in Afghanistan higher than prior estimates

For months, Biden administration officials have insisted that only around a hundred Americans remain trapped in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Yet, in a chilling admission this week, the State Department was forced to admit that the real number is much higher. 

Fox News reported that members of Congress were told on Friday that the State Department is in communication with at least 363 Americans, and another 176 legal permanent residents who are stuck in Afghan territory.

Biden admin lying?

The information was said to have been provided by a source on Capitol Hill, however State Department spokesman Ned Price continued to provide a lower estimate.

According to Fox News, he insisted at a press conference Friday that the maximum number of Americans who are in touch with the State Department stands between 100–200.

“That figure has risen in recent days as more Americans in Afghanistan have decided to depart in light of our successful facilitation of dozens of departures in recent weeks,” Price said.

“We’ve also consistently said there’s a slightly larger universe of Americans with whom we’re in touch and who are not yet ready, for whatever reason, to leave,” he added.

New questions

Meanwhile, Republicans are continuing to lash out at the Biden administration over its failure to extract all Americans from Afghanistan before it pulled all U.S. troops out in late August.

“What we long suspected is now confirmed: what the White House calls a historically successful airlift was in reality the worst ever betrayal of American citizens in a foreign land,” California Rep. Darrell Issa (R) told Fox News. “So they lied about it from the beginning.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) voiced similar thoughts, telling the network, “For weeks, their official number was ‘about a hundred’ and it magically never changed — as Americans slowly got out the total number never went down.”

Fox News’ source for the State Department’s figure was identified only as a Capitol Hill staffer. The individual was quoted as asking, “What about the people they’re not in touch with?”

“Those who are scared to speak out, how do you put a number on that, or that are scared to use WhatsApp or text a +1 American number, or to even text in English?” the unnamed source asked.

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