GOP Rep. Brian Mast.

A House hearing spiraled out of control when a GOP congressman asked misleading questions.
He refused to let Secretary of State Antony Blinken respond and repeatedly shouted over others.
“I do not wish to hear from you,” GOP Rep. Brian Mast said even after his time was up.

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A House of Representatives hearing on Monday about the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan spiraled into chaos when a Republican congressman used his time to spread misleading information and shout over others even after he was told his speaking time was up.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held the hearing, at which US Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified about the timeframe surrounding the US’s withdrawal of troops and the collapse of the Afghan government.

When Florida Rep. Brian Mast was up, he opened his questioning by referencing reporting about a phone call between President Joe Biden and then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. In the July 23 phone call, according to Reuters, Biden said Afghanistan had a “perception” problem indicating “that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban.”

“And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture,” Biden said, according to Reuters.

Mast, a US veteran who lost both his legs in Afghanistan after a 2010 bomb blast, referenced those comments on Monday and falsely suggested that they indicated that “Biden worked with the coward exiled president of Afghanistan to manipulate the intelligence about the Taliban.”

Blinken pushed back on that characterization, saying, “What the president said to then-President Ghani in private is exactly what he said in public: that the issue was not whether Afghanistan had the capacity to withstand the Taliban, it’s whether it had the will and the plan to do so -“

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Mast interrupted him, saying, “So you’re saying the transcript was a lie, that it’s false, it’s incorrect … he did not work to tamp down the intelligence on the Taliban?”

“Absolutely not,” Blinken said.

“So, the transcript is incorrect?” Mast pressed. “That’s your testimony today?”

Blinken responded that Congress was already aware of what the intelligence said and its implications, but Mast continued to say that “everybody looking for an explanation about what happened and how everybody got it so wrong, how your administration got it so wrong needs to look at that as the most likely explanation: asking the [Afghan] president to manipulate the intelligence of what was actually going on with the Taliban.”

The Florida Republican then displayed the photos of the 13 US servicemembers who died on August 26 after an Islamic State militant detonated a bomb at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, killing more than 200 people.

-Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 13, 2021

The House hearing devolved into chaos shortly after, as Mast said, “I do not believe whatsoever what you’re saying about the administration not working to manipulate that intelligence.”

“Simply put, congressman, what you’ve said is dead …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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