Former National Guard officer Pete Hegseth claimed that the Taliban knew more about American troops trapped in Afghanistan than U.S. officials.
Hegseth joined host Harris Faulkner on Monday’s broadcast of “The Faulkner Focus” to discuss a briefing from the Pentagon detailing the most recent developments in Afghanistan. (RELATED: Pentagon Won’t Say How Many Americans Evacuated From Afghanistan)
“When you are deliberately vague with the numbers of Americans on the ground behind enemy lines, what does that communicate to you?” Faulkner asked.
“It communicates to me in all fairness they don’t know. The chaos is what’s in control right now there,” Hegseth responded. “It’s more likely that the Taliban has a better sense of how many Americans, how many SIV applicants are on the ground.”
Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) are authorized by the Defense Department and they are given to foreign nationals, like the Afghan interpreters who have aided the Americans, in order to assist them in coming to the U.S.
Hegseth added that the Taliban had control of all the roads and checkpoints and that the United States was being forced to rely on their word that they were allowing people through if they had the proper identification.
Hegseth concluded by saying that countless numbers of U.S. citizens have been approved. During the briefing, he was getting several texts from an interpreter who was on his sixth attempt of trying to get into the airport. “He’s 300 meters away fighting through the crowd, fighting through checkpoints with the proper paperwork to get there. That’s what’s happening in real-time right now, so it’s hard to believe that the Pentagon has a true sense and could narrow it down in four to five days of exactly who needs to go and get them out in time.”