KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Sen. Bill Hagerty stopped in Kinsgport Friday on an economic development tour of Tennessee. He spoke to journalists about the chaotic situation arising in Afghanistan, calling it “abysmal.”
The Republican senator told News Channel 11 that he is heartbroken to see what is happening in Kabul.
“Regardless of what one might think about the wisdom of withdrawing, the execution here has been abysmal,” he said.
Hagerty criticized President Joe Biden’s plan to have every American and ally evacuated from Afghanistan by Sept. 11.
“I think what we have is a White House that focused on a press release, the ability to celebrate the fact that they’re withdrawing American troops in the 20th anniversary of 9/11, but indeed, they did not put the time in to plan this, and what’s happened, has been a disaster of epic proportions,” Hagerty said. “We put American lives at risk we put our allies’ lives at risk. We’ve allowed ourselves to be embarrassed as a nation. Right now, this administration and President Biden needs to own it, to stop deflecting, to stop trying to blame others, but to own it and fix it.”
The senator said he will do everything he can to ensure that every American is evacuated.
He said his office is receiving contact on a regular basis and that he is trying to help people move out of Afghanistan. The senator said his office receives reports from the ground daily and finds the news disturbing.
“It’s very disturbing to hear about the chaos particularly what’s happening around the Kabul airport. It’s a very cumbersome situation right now, to say the least, the situation around the Kabul airport is just bedlam. It’s very disorganized,” Hagerty said.
He said American equipment is being left behind and is falling into the hands of the Taliban.
“I think it’s deeply concerning that we’ve allowed significant American investment and military equipment to fall into the wrong hands again this gets back to the massive failure in execution, a lack of planning, it’s something that we need to fix and address immediately,” he said.