Sen. Ron Johnson slammed President Biden’s Friday remarks on the evacuation of Americans from Afghanistan, referring to the unfolding chaos in the country as a “disaster.”
“There’s not enough lipstick to put on this pig,” the Wisconsin Republican told Fox News on Friday. “This is a disaster, and it’s a disaster brought about by a really bad decision and just incompetence.”
Johnson continued, “This is not the way to have done it. It didn’t have to go this way.”
The Wisconsin senator, who has represented the Badger State since 2011, said that he has heard from Wisconsin service members that Afghans who worked with the military and “saved American lives” are in danger of being “slaughtered” if the Biden administration doesn’t act.
“We have a responsibility to protect people like that,” Johnson said.
Johnson explained that the Biden administration is playing a “numbers game” by not providing a breakdown of how many Americans are seated on various evacuation flights.
“We don’t know what the composition of these individuals is, we don’t know how many are U.S. citizens, how many are the special immigrant visa holders, how many are just plain Afghanistan refugees, we just don’t know that,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s Republican colleagues in the Senate also took issue with Biden’s claims, including Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who said his ability to lead the U.S. military is in “serious question.”
“President Joe Biden has once again demonstrated no understanding of the situation on the ground in Kabul and is spreading misinformation,” Blackburn told Fox News. “Biden has endangered the lives of tens of thousands of American civilians and U.S. service members. He can’t even respond to simple questions honestly or accurately. Biden’s ability to lead our military and our country out of this precarious situation is in serious question.”
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse told Fox News that Biden is “out of touch with reality.”
“President Biden insists on trusting the Taliban to let our people through to the Kabul airport, and bizarrely said he doesn’t have evidence that they’re not,” Sasse said. “How in the world is he not talking to people on-ground in the country? Taliban fighters and their al Qaeda allies aren’t crossing guards wearing friendly neon vests — they’re bloodthirsty terrorists violently blocking evacuations.”
Biden said in his speech Friday that the U.S. was ramping up evacuations of citizens and had made “significant progress.” He also cautioned that he couldn’t promise what the final outcome of the dire situation in Kabul would be.
“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 I will mobilize every resource necessary,” he said.
Officials said Friday that they have so far evacuated about 13,000 people from the country since the Taliban pressed toward Kabul, sparking chaotic scenes at the capital’s airport as nationals and Americans made desperate bids to board planes out of the besieged country. Biden has been widely criticized for the crisis, yet on Friday he sought to portray the situation as one in which the U.S. had control.
“We’ve established a flow of flights and we’ve increased the number of people we’re moving out of the country,” Biden said.
Adam Shaw contributed to this report