Don Lemon Grills Kirby On Americans Left Behind In Sudan

[Screenshot CNN This Morning]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN’s Don Lemon grilled White House National Security spokesman John Kirby on Monday about Americans left behind in Sudan.

The U.S. State Department issued a Level 4 warning days ago about the region, calling the situation “violent, volatile, and extremely unpredictable, particularly in the capital city of Khartoum.” Biden ordered for embassy staff and family to be evacuated.

ABC News reported 16,000 American citizens remained in Sudan as of Friday.

Kirby said the nation is in contact with “hundreds” of Americans in Sudan currently.

“We’re in touch with hundreds of American citizens that are there, who want – who may want to leave. It’s up to them, of course, to decide to do that. We’re doing the best we can to give them the information that they need, that they can rely on, and to do so safely,” Kirby said. “But honestly, the fighting in Khartoum is not in a situation where we would want people moving about too freely or too aggressively right now.”

“You said you were in touch with hundreds, but there are about 16,000 or so people who have to get out of this country,” Lemon said. “Are you able – you’re not able to get in touch with all of them, right?” (RELATED: Kirby Warns Journalists Not To Report On Leaked Pentagon Papers)


“I want to push back on this idea that there’s 16,000 Americans who want to get out. We don’t have a firm estimate of the exact number of American citizens who are in Sudan. They don’t have to register with us, don’t have to tell us that they’re there. We think that the vast majority of these American citizens in Sudan … are dual nationals. These are people who grew up in Sudan, who have families there, worked there, businesses there, who don’t want to leave. I think we need to be careful about that number.”

The nation is fighting as two rival military leaders, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, turned against each other after having been sharing the power since the 2019 overthrow of dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Khartoum’s airport has been closed and civilians have been forced to shelter in place.