Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed in a recent interview that “all” of the Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan are already out, contradicting statements by the State Department that a small number of U.S. citizens are still trying to flee the Taliban-controlled country.
During an interview with ABC-affiliated WSYR at the New York State Fair on Friday, Schumer, D-N.Y., was asked how President Biden’s widely criticized ending to the U.S. war in Afghanistan might affect Democrats’ chances in the 2022 midterm elections.
“You know, I can’t predict that,” Schumer responded. “I will say there will be a job for congressional oversight. There always is.”
“But at the moment, actually, I’m still focused on trying to get some of those brave Afghans out,” he continued. “The Americans, all of whom wanted to come out have come out, praise God. But there are a lot of Afghans who risked their lives for our soldiers and others. Many got out, some didn’t, and I’m still working on trying to get some of them out.”
Schumer’s comments came several days before Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that U.S. officials in Washington had identified a “relatively” small number of Americans seeking to depart Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport and that the State Department was working with the Taliban to facilitate additional charter flights from Kabul, where the last of the U.S. troops departed on Aug. 30.
Blinken said the United States believes there are “somewhere around 100” American citizens still in Afghanistan who want to leave. The State Department had previously put that estimate at between 100 and 200.
It appeared to be the first time that the Biden administration confirmed there were Americans at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport after several reports that Taliban fighters had blocked Americans aboard six planes from evacuating.
Schumer’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.