Gillibrand on Aug. 31 Deadline: ‘We Don’t Have a Regard for What the Taliban Wants’

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” that the Afghanistan evacuation deadline of August 31 should not hinge on the Taliban’s “wants.”

Mitchell said, “What do you think about the fact that it looks likely given the Taliban’s deadline that we’ll start pulling people out of there on or before August 31?”

Gillibrand said, “Well, President Biden will address the nation shortly, and he will give us more guidance on his plan, but our job right now is to make sure that we get as many of our troops, our allies, and our American citizens that have been serving in Afghanistan out to increase the airlift capacity. President Biden has begun to use the civilian aircraft reserve. Asking regular airlines like Delta Airlines, United Airlines to help transport people in countries outside of Afghanistan that are taking refugees. He is using every capacity as they evacuated 11,000 people over the weekend. There are still many tens of thousands more, so our work is very difficult. The men and women who are serving on the ground are fearless, including the Tenth Mountain Division. He has the resources he needs to do this, but it’s up to the president whether he wants to extend the deadline. If he feels he needs to, he should. We, at the end of the day, we don’t have a regard for what the Taliban wants. We have a regard for our men and women who are serving, our families who are there as well as our allies and all of the translators and Afghans who have helped us and who have made a difference over the last two decades in Afghanistan.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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