The Biden administration is in touch with nearly 400 Americans who are stranded in Afghanistan, a figure that far exceeds the administration's claims that about 100 Americans were left in the nation following the United States' hurried exit from Kabul, according to a senior congressional source who was briefed Thursday by the State Department.
With Afghanistan in the administration's rear-view mirror, U.S. officials are providing exact figures on the number of Americans who are still stranded and want to leave—although they are doing so in private, off-the-record forums—according to two senior congressional aides, who relayed the contents of the non-public call to the Washington Free Beacon.
The United States is in touch with 363 Americans who are stuck in war-torn Afghanistan and around 176 U.S. permanent residents who are asking to be evacuated immediately, Biden administration officials said on the call with congressional staff, according to the source, who requested anonymity to discuss non-public information. These figures demonstrate that senior Biden administration officials routinely misrepresented the number of stranded Americans to the public and Congress for nearly two months.
The State Department further claims to have airlifted 218 U.S. citizens and 131 long-term permanent residents out of Afghanistan since Aug. 31, when senior Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House press secretary Jen Psaki, were publicly claiming that "around 100" Americans were still stuck in the nation. Psaki, for instance, said last month that only "a handful of American citizens" were trying to leave Afghanistan after the United States pulled its forces. The figures presented in Thursday’s briefing indicate the administration was citing the "around 100" talking point while privately being aware of nearly 600 Americans still inside Afghanistan.