Nancy Spears and Zaria Oates
WASHINGTON — The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that the whereabouts of Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin were unknown after he purportedly made a second attempt to gain entry to Afghanistan.
Efforts by Gaylord News to contact Mullin, his staff or his family were unsuccessful.
Rep. Mullin, R-Oklahoma and Cherokee, an outspoken critic of Biden’s pullout, has defied US warnings over an attempt to rescue five American citizens — a mother and four children — who are stuck in the country.
Last week, Mullin asked the Department of Defense for permission to visit Kabu while he was visiting Greece, but the Pentagon denied Mullin’s request, the Post reported.
Mullin called the embassy late Monday and said he planned to fly from Tblisi, Georgia, into Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, in the next few hours and needed the top diplomat’s help, according to the two U.S. officials familiar with the incident, who spoke anonymously to the Washington Post.
The situation pivoted, however, when the U.S. Embassy received a call from Mullin requesting assistance in transporting a “huge amount” of money into Afghanistan to hire a helicopter for the rescue effort.
Officials said Mullin became upset when the Embassy’s answer was no. Mullin then threatened U.S. ambassador John Mark Pommersheim and embassy staff and demanded the names of staff he spoke with.
The Post reported that the effort to gain entry to Afghanistan via Tajikistan was apparently his second attempt in the past two weeks. Last week Mullin traveled to Greece where he asked the Defense Department for permission to visit Kabul.
The attempt follows other incidents last week of unauthorized trip to Afghanistan by Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts, and Peter Meijer, R-Michigan, “which Pentagon and State Department officials criticized as a public relations stunt that sapped government resources during a national-security crisis,” the Washington Post reported.
The pullout was concluded on Monday, ending America’s longest war. The U.S. military helped evacuate more than 120,000 people, including at-risk Afghans, U.S. citizens, and allies. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that fewer than 200 American citizens remain in the country.
Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.