At a press conference on Wednesday, McCarthy reiterated his Democratic counterpart saying that “it’s not the best idea to go” after two congressmen unexpectedly traveled to the capital, Kabul, the day before.
“I think [going to Afghanistan] creates greater risk. There are enough Americans over there, ”said the Republican. I think you’d stop the military from getting that many Americans out [as] we can.”
He continued, “I don’t think it’s wise for others to leave. You are not putting yourself at risk, but you are putting Americans at risk when the military has to protect you, which they will and shouldn’t. “
On Tuesday, Republican MP Peter Meijer and Democratic MP Seth Moulton took an unauthorized and unknown charter plane to Kabul airport in a chaotic scene as Afghans flee the country.
McCarthy said Meijer never spoke to him about the trip, nor did he seek approval or an opinion from the GOP House of Representatives leader.
Meijer and Moulton, both military veterans with experience in the area, have been scrutinized by Biden government officials, who argued the trip would drain resources from those desperately trying to evacuate the country.
Pelosi made her statement on Tuesday, warning other members of Congress not to make similar travel plans.
“Member trips to Afghanistan and surrounding countries would divert unnecessary resources from the priority mission of safely and expeditiously evacuating vulnerable Americans and Afghans from Afghanistan,” Pelosi wrote in a letter.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday urged Congressmen not to travel to Kabul, Afghanistan, during the evacuation effort. Above, McCarthy answers questions during a press conference on January 9, 2020.
Win McNamee / Getty
McCarthy said he would urge other lawmakers not to do what Meijer or Moulton did, but added that he understood why the two went to Kabul.
“I understand their frustration with why they wanted to leave – the lack of answers, the time they served their nation, the individuals they knew there, the calls – all members get calls from people stuck there” We get frustrated when you try to work with the State Department and get no replies, “the McCarthy said.
“They realize that it is a matter of life and death,” he added. “So yeah, you made up your mind to do something on your own.”
Despite sending a message similar to Pelosi’s, telling House members not to leave, McCarthy also criticized the House spokeswoman for her testimony, saying it was “most of the time she spent all week in Afghanistan Has”.
Newsweek reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment, but received no response by the time of publication.
McCarthy also said he doesn’t think other elected officials will have the option to go to Kabul “as everything is being withdrawn”.