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Sen. Cotton leads Republicans in demanding answers from Biden on abandoned Americans and Afghan allies

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A group of Republican senators, led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), is seeking answers from the Biden administration on the exact number of Americans and Afghan allies abandoned in Afghanistan.

The Republicans on Thursday wrote a letter to President Joe Biden that also requests information on the vetting process being used for evacuees who are on their way to the United States.

"The signatories of this letter may have differing opinions about whether the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan, but we all agree that the arbitrary and poorly-planned method by which you withdrew from Afghanistan caused this crisis," the letter stated.

"We request thorough, unclassified answers to these questions that can be made available to the general public. Americans need to see that the United States will not abandon them to terrorists abroad forever," the senators wrote.

America's longest war ended Monday when Biden completed the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. The almost 20-year conflict cost an estimated $2 trillion and the lives of nearly 2,500 U.S. troops and about 240,000 Afghans.

According to the Biden administration, more than 123,000 persons have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul, though U.S. troops only assisted with the evacuation of 79,000 civilians on military aircrafts, according to the New York Post.

The senators pointed out that only 4.5% of those evacuees, about 5,500 individuals, were "self-identified" as American citizens. The exact number of Americans abandoned in the country by the Biden administration remains unknown, though officials estimated that as many as 250 Americans were still in the country after the U.S. completed its exit.

The letter asked Biden to clarify exactly how many American citizens remain in Afghanistan, as well as how many green-card holders and special immigrant visa applicants were abandoned in the country. It further requests details on the vetting process used to admit "more than 57,000 Afghans who are not American citizens, green-card holders, or SIV applicants or their families" into the United States.

Speaking on Fox News on Friday, Cotton said Biden performed a "bait and switch" on Americans by promising to get all of our citizens and allies out and failing to do so.

"The administration is going to have to tell the American people the truth sooner rather than later, but we need it sooner, because currently they're flying in approximately 4,000 Afghans a day. And we don't really know who many of these people are — because this is one of the biggest bait and switches in American politics," Cotton said.

"Joe Biden appealed to the generosity and the sense of honor of the American people who rightly wanted to save all those loyal Afghans who worked alongside our troops for the last 20 years. But his own administration now admits that they left the vast majority, that's their words, the vast majority of those Afghans who had been reviewed and vetted in Afghanistan," he continued.

"That means that tens of thousands of Afghans who had no direct connection to our military were evacuated out of the country and now are en route to our country in the days ahead," he added.

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