U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was vacationing in East Hampton hours before the Taliban took over Kabul, according to the New York Post.
Blinken allegedly left Washington D.C. for the Hamptons on August 13, just two days prior to Afghanistan’s collapse on August 15, according to the New York Post.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 30, 2021
Blinken’s father, the former Ambassador to Hungary under President Bill Clinton, Donald Blinken has maintained a large Lilly Pond Lane estate in East Hampton since 1972, according to the Post.
Blinken, along with several other Biden Administration senior staffers, had planned to go on vacation the week of August 15 to coincide with President Biden’s planned getaway to Camp David. As a result, numerous staffers including White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki were unable to be reached as Afghanistan’s government fell to the Taliban that Sunday, according to the Post.
Reporters who attempted to email Psaki’s government email during the crisis received an out of office email detailing her vacation plans.
Can confirm. Auto-reply from Jen Psaki says: “I will be out of the office from August 15th – August 22nd. In my absence, please reach out to” three other members of the WH press team. pic.twitter.com/FPxS9kmqSs
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) August 16, 2021
By Saturday evening on August 14, it became clear to the Biden Administration that Kabul would soon collapse, prompting Blinken to call Afghan President Ghani in an attempt to broker a power sharing arrangement between the Afghan government and the Taliban. It remains unclear whether or not Blinken was back in D.C. at this point, according to the Washington Post’s timeline of events. (RELATED: REPORT: Taliban’s Afghanistan Co-Founder Offered To Let US Take Control Of Kabul – Biden Admin Said No)
Despite Blinken’s efforts, Ghani fled Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post.
With the Taliban in full control of Afghanistan, thousands of American citizens and refugees have been desperately trying to flee the terrorist-held country ahead of President Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw all US troops and diplomats.
Many have criticized Biden for ignoring previous intelligence assessments that warned of grave consequences if the US withdrew from Afghanistan.
Intelligence assessments that predicted a buildup of ISIS-K were also validated last Thursday when the terror group carried out a suicide bomb attack at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport that left over 150 Afghans and 13 US servicemen dead. Two ISIS-K affiliates associated with the attack were killed in a drone strike order by Biden last Friday. U.S. and NATO allied forces have evacuated 122,300 refugees, special immigrant visa applicants and allies since July. Of those evacuated, 5,400 evacuees are estimated to be American citizens, according to the New York Post. Despite this, hundreds of Americans were left in Afghanistan according to Fox News.
“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” said Commander of US Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.
The State Department estimates nearly 250 Americans are still on the ground in Afghanistan, according to Fox News.
The last few flights out of Afghanistan contained no American citizens, Gen. McKenzie says.
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) August 30, 2021
Congrats on your “the War is Over” headline: but hundreds of Americans are stranded & we betrayed our allies.
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) August 30, 2021
A spokesperson for the State Department told the Daily Caller that Blinken took part in several engagements with regard to Afghanistan during this time period, including meetings with administration officials and the president.