After the House hearings, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken undoubtedly thought he could get through these hearings unscathed.
Dems gushed over him on Day One, but that all changed on Day 2.
Senators on both sides of the aisle grilled him, with Senator Cruz (R-TX) hitting him hard regarding the reports the administration turned over manifests to the Taliban.
Cruz Takes on Blinken
I do have to hand it to Senate Republicans in how they handled the questioning of Blinken.
Rather than everyone hitting the same issues over and over, this seemed like a more coordinated attack.
For instance, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) hammered Blinken on the botched drone attack, while Senator Cruz chose to go after the reports of manifests being handed over to the Taliban.
Cruz, when he got his five minutes, asked, “Did the State Department give the Taliban a list or multiple list of Americans and or Afghans that we wanted out?”
Blinken replied, “Those reports and the idea that we would do anything to endanger our citizens or anyone else at a time when we were trying to save their lives [are] flat-out wrong.”
Cruz was referring to a Politico report, which may have gotten some of the facts wrong.
However, Fox News confirmed with U.S. officials that while not “every single person” was given to the Taliban, but some names were “whenever they wanted a specific group to come through.”
This is more or less semantics, though, because we have also seen reports of individuals being refused entry at checkpoints, so how effective the practice of even turning names over in piecemeal is still not known.
When Cruz pushed Blinken on how many names were given to the Taliban, Blinken replied, that it “doesn’t matter.”
I am sure there are quite a few people that would disagree with that.
Cruz also hit Blinken on the constant effort by this administration to pin this debacle on Trump.
He stated, “Mr. Secretary, Joe Biden is the president of the United States, Kamala Harris is the vice president of the United States.
“You are the United States Secretary of State.
“Just like [former President] Jimmy Carter owns the disaster of the Iran hostage crisis, you own this.”
Well done, Senator Cruz.
Source: Fox News