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tv   The Story With Martha Mac Callum  FOX News  August 27, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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we have a responsibility to these individuals that worked with our colleagues on the ground in kabul and we are grateful for their commitment and dedication to the united states. i can confirm that the vast majority of our locally-employed staff and their immediate family members have been evacuated or are currently on the ground of the hamed karzai airport. we're working to evacuate remaining staff and we've been in direct contact with them. these employees have served the united states. they have not only worked for us but worked with us. they are our colleagues. as you heard us say before, our embassies around the world quite simply could not function without locally-employed staff. we will continue to do everything we can to bring them to safety. >> so before you came out here, your colleague at the white
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house punted an enormous number of questions to you. you can thank her for that later. some of which involved some of the numbers you just went through and she gave some as well. there's three things that i want to ask. please be extremely brief with the answers. i don't feed long answers. do you have numbers or do those include lprs, also, do you have numbers for remaining sivs, do you have numbers for p 1, p 2 applicants and in terms of the broader universe of at-risk afghans, do you have numbers for those. secondly, she punted on the idea of a diplomatic presence post august 31. post tuesday. i presume she did that because there's no decisions.
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can you bring us up to date if there is or is not and the last one on that and i've got one more after this. the airport. the negotiations on who would run, if anyone would run the airport after tuesday. >> great. let me take those in order. on numbers. i know there's intense interest in the numbers. as you have heard today, heard from the secretary the past couple days, we committed to providing all of you and in turn the american people with as precise figures as we can when it comes to american citizens. we have a responsible responsibility to american citizens and we're going to continue to update you on our progress in repatriating those american citizens. when it comes to sivs, we have reached out over the past couple
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weeks, since august 14, to thousands upon thousands of sivs. those are principle applicants as well as their family members. this applies to all of the categories that you run through. in the context of this massive unprecedented evacuation effort, our first goal is to have bring as many people to safety as quick as possible. in many cases, we are going to be in a better position to provide the fidelity on numbers in the coming days and coming weeks as this process has been ongoing, our goal is to put as many people on as many planes as we can. the accounting we'll be able to do in more details in the coming days. to sivs, we reached to thousands upon thousands.
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when it comes to lawful permanent residents, we have messaged to lprs in afghanistan since august 14. when we provided specific instructions to american citizens and also provided an opportunity for lprs to indicate their interest in relocating to the united states. so again, we don't have precise figures to provide on that right now. i would offer the same when it comes to the other categories, p1s, p2s. we moved the vast majority of our locally engaged staff members to the kabul airport. >> on the negotiations over both a possible ongoing continuing diplomatic presence after tuesday and the airport, is there anything new there? >> so -- >> on either. >> i'll say a couple things on
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the diplomatic presence. there's a number of issues implicated in a decision like this. first and foremost on our minds, and this is always the case but accusely the case after yesterday is the safety, the security of the americans that would be part of that mission. the secretary of state, the president of the united states and this full team wants to be confident that our people serving overseas, diplomats, service members, others are in a position to operate as safely and securely as possible. so that is a big piece of business. we're also discussing these broader issues with a range of our international partners. this is not just a question that the united states will have to decide for itself. every country around the world
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will need to make a sovereign decision about any diplomatic presence in kabul, in afghanistan going forward. >> i'm asking of the united states. i'm not asking -- >> i'm telling you. we're coordinating with our international partners, again, to share ideas, to ensure that we're sending the appropriate signals and messages to the taliban. the taliban, who, by the way, have been quite clear and quite open in the fact that they would like other countries to retain their diplomatic missions. a spokesperson said we appreciate the embassies that didn't close. we assure them of their safety and protection. this gets back to the point that the taliban have self-interests here as well. >> the embassies that remained open are the chinese and the
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russians. so anyway, you're -- basically there's no decision, right? >> we don't have a decision to offer right now. it's something that we're does cussing with our partners and thinking about here as well. >> the airport, those discussions still continue as well? >> i know there's been intense interest in the airport. let me spend a moment on that. >> maybe if someone else wants to hear all that. i want to know if there's a decision. yes or no. >> excuse me. >> on who, if anyone will run it afterwards. i don't want to hear the whole thing they can ask. >> i assumed as a journalist you might be assumed in the context. the point is -- >> i'm not -- >> upon our departure we will transfer the airport back to the afghan people. it's not for us to decide. this is -- we're undertaking -- >> that's not what i'm asking. i'm asking if there's a decision
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if who will run the airport, if anyone after the 31st. i'll stop and won't ask another question at all. there was a briefing that was given to hill staffers and members of congress a little while ago in which a senior pentagon official, maybe he misspoke, maybe people misheard them apparently that the u.s. does not believe that isis or al-quaida is not a threat to the united states. is that correct? is that the administration's position? >> matt, i have not heard that comment. so i couldn't -- >> regardless of whether you heard it or not, is that -- is that the administration's position now that isis and al-quaida do not present a threat to the united states? >> i would need to know more about the context of that specific quote. let me be clear this president has made certain and he has made clear in no ambiguous terms that we will continue to confront
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using every appropriate tool, groups like al-quaida, groups like isis, any group around the world wherever it is that would potentially pose a threat to the united states and our people. >> yes. on the airports, i don't know if you've seen but a number of pictures and reports on twitter from various accounts that taliban units are moving into the kabul airport. have you seen that? have the people -- has the united states military seen that? anything you can say? >> my colleague at the white house was asked about this as well. what dod has spoken to is the retrograde planning. we intent to complete our mission by august 31. >> these pictures -- this is happening the past half an hour. >> i don't have any response to
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that if there's any change in dod retrograde operations or timing, they would need to speak to that. >> any idea if the u.s. forces would be at the airport through the day on august 31? >> any timing operation when it comes to retrograde, the department of defense would need to speak to that. our people, those under chief of mission authority on the ground will leave the country as part of those retrograde operations. ultimately dod will need to speed to the timing. >> wouldn't that affect the remaining evacuations of any remaining u.s. citizens or afghans that have permission to leave under the u.s.' auspices? >> this is the point that dod has made. retrograde is not like turning a light switch. it's not off one and on the
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next. this is a transmission from a full scale evacuation to a departure. as to the mechanics of that, i would need to refer to dod. >> i want to continue a little bit on recognition and aid. we're seeing the reality sinking in europe about taliban about their accepting that they'll have to deal with the group. where is the united states on that? i know your focus is on the evacuation. but the urgency of that is providing aid. how are you going to do it? has the united states come to that decision that they will have to deal with the taliban not least because of humanitarian aid reasons? >> so first on the issue of recognition. it is not unlike the question of
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any diplomatic presence going forward in that it's something that we are in regular constant contact with our allies and partners around the world to discuss. you referenced some statements from unnamed european countries. there's been actual formal communiques including our closest allies in the world in the context of the g-7 and nato, in the context of other groupings that speak to a unified position on this. >> does that mean you're aligned with their position? because for example, the reality, we'll have to deal with them. is that where the united states is also? >> what you're referring to is a separate question from recognition, a separate question from conferring legitimacy. what i will say these are questions that we're actively discussing with our european partners and beyond. as i believe you heard.
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our deputy secretary, every other day convenes a group of thee 0 countries including nato allies and including countries from the indopacific region to talk about tactical and strategic positions. in terms of what any relationship with the future government of afghanistan will like like. >> should the taliban get the afghanistan seat at the u.n.? >> these are not questions that we're prepared to answer today. we're not prepared to answer them today precisely because we've heard a range of statements from the taliban. some of them have been positive, some of them have been constructive. ultimately what we will be looking for, what our international partners will be looking for are deeds, not words. what we're going to be focused on and questions of any future diplomatic presence, any questions of recognition, any questions of assistance is
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follow-through. deeds, not words. humanitarian assistance is a separate issue. we have proven in context that are varied and really encompass the world, the globe, that we can maintain a humanitarian commitment to the afghan people in this case, in ways that does not have any funding or assistance pass through the coffers of a central government. so that commitment will remain. i expect the united states will continue to be a very generous donor to the afghan people. over the past 20 years, nearly $4 billion. it's a quarter of a billion that we allocated just this summer. the president just a few days ago allocated another $500 million to support internally displaced persons inside afghan
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fan, refugees around the world that may be in need of assistance. >> has the taliban been directly asked the u.s. in your conversations to keep diplomatic presence and if yes, what assurances have they provided for the security, et cetera? also on the locally employed staff, you speak about vast majority out or about to be out. can you put any figure about that and how many are still not out or about to be out? >> in terms of diplomatic recognition and what we heard from the taliban, we heard -- >> presence. >> excuse me. presence. we heard the same thing from the taliban privately that they have been saying publicly. i referred a moment ago to a public taliban statement. that they want embassies open. they have made very clear to us in our communication they would like to see an american
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diplomatic presence remain. it's not up to the taliban. it's a determination that we will make consistent with the overriding prerogative and that is the safety and security of american officials. it is a decision we plan to discuss and confer about with our allies and partners as well. look, the taliban have pledged publicly. they said we assured them of their safety and protection. those are the same assurances that we received in private. i can tell you, we don't put all of that great value on again words. what we're looking for is an indication that there is substance. there's merit to those statements. an indication that there will be follow-through before we make any such decisions. your second question? >> the number of the locally employed -- >> on the number of locally-engaged staff, there's
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been hundreds that have been moved to safety in recent days. that is the vast majority of our local staff. >> you don't have any numbers? >> the vast majority are safely out of afghanistan or the airport compound. laura? >> i have two evacuation-related questions. there's reports that private planes are trying to fly in to hkia and turned to not land by the united states. do you know if those reports are true? >> i would need to refer to the u.s. military. what i can say is this a highly effective operation when it comes to the evacuation. you need look no further than, again, the metric that matters. 110,600 people through u.s.
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military and coalition flights since august 14. this is an operation that requires a great deal of coordination. it is an operation that requires a great deal of choreography. any airport around the world, especially one as busy as this -- hamed karzai international airport for those that have been there know it's not chicago o'hare. it's the size of an airport of a fairly small town. so the orchestration and coordination that is required to have all is military charter other aircraft to talk off every 45 minutes, every half hour, that sin deed a sophisticated bit of business. >> the other part of that, some of these reports is the united states is telling other countries not to accept any
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planes of afghans at this point is. that true? >> that we're telling other countries not to accept planes? >> yes. >> we're very welcoming countries around the world that have opened their doors, opened their borders, that have put forward offers to accept afghan refugees. the united states has demonstrated incredible generosity. this will need to be a global effort. we've been gratified that countries around the world have indicated an effort to host refugees and we ask other countries to do more. >> one broader question. you said and the president spoke yesterday about some of the american citizens that decided not to leave afghanistan. we talked about reasons why they may not want to leave. specifically that they might not want to leave family members that don't have visas or who are
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not american citizens or don't have passports to get out. so i'm wondering if this is something that the state department is looking at addressing more broadly, at changing the visa requirements or citizenship requirements or the ability to allow more people, family, to come out so american citizens don't have to make a choice of their safety and leaving parents, children behind. >> let me make a couple broad points. number 1, the number of individuals with whom we've been in contact that say that they don't wish to leave because they don't wish to leave extended family behind, it's relatively small. especially when you look at the universe of american citizens that we've repatriated or in the process of repatriating. it's a relatively small number. but number 2, when we talk about this and this isimportant to understand the context around these numbers, the people we're
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in touch with, the individuals we believe to be american citizens, that number will fluctuate, it will be dynamic. precisely because especially as we get to a smaller and smaller universe of american citizens, they are making these decisions and sometimes reversing these decisions multiple times a day. so when we say that we're in regular contact, we mean regular contact, multiple times a day as the remaining americans make these decisions. look, i'm not aware of any plans to change eligibility for visa requirements. we have a special commitment to american citizens. that's spelled out very acutely in code to american citizens.
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what i will say and the point that is relevant to this is that our military operation will come to an end by august 31. what does not have an expiration date is our commitment to any american who for whatever reason decides not to take us up on the off of repatriation now but who may come to us in days, weeks, months or years -- >> martha: all right. we'll continue to keep an eye on this. good afternoon. i'm martha maccallum. the state department just announcing that about 105,000 americans and afghanistan allies have been evacuated to safety since august 14. this has been a very rushed mission over a very concentrated mission. more than 5,000 american troops remain in afghanistan right now holding down that airport. we have been told essentially that they continue to be in danger. the white house says president biden was warned by national
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security officials that another terror attack in kabul is "likely." that comes one day after the horrific tragedy that we saw play out at the airport gate. 13 u.s. service members killed by a suicide bomber in conjunction with armed shooters on the scene there that took the lives of close to 200 people by some of the estimates. peter doocy is standing by reporting live this afternoon on the latest from the white house and the administration. hi, peter. >> martha, a few minutes ago, the briefing with jen psaki wrapped up. i asked what comes next. where does the justice for these service members of the families look like? >> when the president says we will hunt you down and make you pay? what does that look like? is he going to order a mission
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to kill the people responsible or would he be satisfied if they're captured and brought to trial? >> i think he made it clear he doesn't want them to live on the earth anymore. >> despite the tough language like that, it's pretty grim around here. the staff has briefed the president and the vice president another terror attack in kabul is likely. that's why they say our troops are still in danger. i also had a chance to ask jen psaki why it is or what exactly will happen in the final hours that our troops are there. we're cooperating with the taliban about security. the taliban are cooperating or coordinating with members of the hakani network including guys with multimillion dollars bounties on their head identify as the state department as global terrorists. i asked if we're going to attempt in our final hours on the ground there to bring those terrorists to justice.
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jen psaki said right now the focus is on getting americans out. we do not expect to see president biden on camera again today. when we saw him in the oval office, he said the mission continues. martha? >> martha: peter doocy, thanks very much, peter. all good questions for this afternoon. now for the latest on what the pentagon is saying about the situation in pentagon. let's bring in jennifer griffin. jennifer, good afternoon to you. what are you learning? >> good afternoon, martha. the threat to troops at the airport will increase in the coming days we're told. the president has been told that u.s. forces on the ground in kabul face another imminent terrorist attack. that message being delivered at the pentagon as well. >> we're monitoring these threats virtually around real time. i won't get into more detail
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than that. >> i want to warn you the following video is graphic and disturbing. if you have children, might want them to step out of the room. what i can tell you is this video shows the aftermath of yesterday's attack. the pentagon corrected reports from yet of two suicide bombers adding there was no explosion at the baron hotel, about 200 years from that gate. the pentagon could not say if any u.s. troops were killed by gun fire. the death toll among afghans rose to 130. >> how can you say with certainty that the taliban were not involved in this suicide bombing? i understand that you're reliant on them for protection around the airport. are you ruling out them being involved because you're so dependent on the taliban right now? >> i didn't hear general mckenzie put it that way.
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in one of the questions he got, he said, you know, was there a failure. the general said of course there was a failure somewhere obviously. >> in terms of isis k, how many prisoners were left at bagram and released from the prison there and why weren't they removed before the u.s. pulled out to gitmo? >> i don't know the exact number. clearly it's in the thousands. >> u.s. officials say reports that they shared lifts of americans and afghan allies are incorrect adding that in some cases to get these afghans through a checkpoint, they provide the information and for the most part the taliban have been letting those americans and those afghans pass. so very complicated threat environment in kabul right now. 12,500 people were evacuated yesterday on 35 military trans important planes. some of c-17 were medevacs.
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martha? >> martha: another quick question. given the on going threat, why is it the posture is the same in terms of the number of people that we have on the ground and the resources that we're taking advantage of at this point? >> i don't think the posture remains the same in terms of security measures. there's many things that they are doing at the airport that they don't want to talk about because they don't want to give it away to any potential attackers. the posture is not exactly the same. in terms of numbers of troops on the ground, kirby said today that he would not be giving updates on the number of u.s. troops at the airport. it's clear they're doing two very difficult things at the same time. they're trying to get maximum number of americans and sivs and needy afghans on the planes and as of yesterday, they got 12,500 out after a suicide bombing that killed 13 americans. they're trying to do that while
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retrograding. so they're destroying equipment, moving out some unneeded forces. but you can't draw down completely until you get the last afghan evacuees out. so it's a very, very difficult mission that they're undertaking in these next couple days. >> martha: certainly is. thanks, jennifer griffin, at the pentagon. we're waiting for a briefing from the pentagon. we'll take you there live when that gets underway. my first guest warned earlier this week that president biden's withdrawal from afghanistan would leave him with blood on his hands. we saw a lot of blood shed over the course of yesterday. sadly joining me now, michael mccall of texas. ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee. congressman, good to have you with us today. obviously this threat continues. i heard a description this morning of what's going on on the ground right now. we have 5,000 american troops
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inside an airport, inside this contained space carrying out as jennifer just laid out very well an incredibly complex mission. then you have a surrounding cordon of taliban outside. then beyond that mountains and valley. add to that, to this potent mix, thousands of terrorists released from bagram, from the prison there and other places over the -- we have the bravest troops in the world. they're in an incredibly dangerous situation right now, sir. >> and let me say my heart goes out to the families of the 13 service men that were killed by isis-k. that didn't have to happen. none of this had to happen if they were prepared for this evacuation in the first place. now put isis-k -- when i chaired homeland security, isis-k is the
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worst of the worst. a lot of them came out of prisons that were evacuated. the fact of the matter is, it's a very dangerous situation at the airport. right now our mission, august 31, get all americans out of that country. do not leave americans behind enemy lines. i don't know why they're evacuating military before they were evacuating all americansi think this whole thing has been botched. one of the worst foreign policy blunders i've seen in my lifetime. >> it's a stunning reality that we're dealing with. the danger continues today. we hope and pray that these suggestions that another attack is likely do not come to fruition and they have been about to thwart these risks. we're going to the pentagon now. live updates from john kirby at
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the pent governor and glen venner from the aero space command. let's listen in. >> i'm here to discuss u.s. northern command support for operations allies refuge. in addition to defending the homeland, we provide defense support of civil authorities on dsca. that ranges from providing covid medical assistance, relieving medical facilities in louisiana, and supporting wild land firefighting in the united states. we're deporting support to the homeland security and border patrol by monitoring and transportation support for the southwest border mission. we're ready to conduct hurricane relief efforts if required. of course, u.s. northern command is providing support within the continental united states for
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alies refuge. august 14, operation allies refuge was launched. with support of the u.s. government, it's the opportunity to relocate to the united states for afghans. the afghan coordination task force was launched and providing support to 3,500 afghan sivs. on august 15, the department of state requested and the secretary of defense approved special immigrant visa applicants and other vulnerable afghans. the u.s. northern command is providing temporary housing, medical screening, transportation and other services for afghan special immigrant visa applicants and at-risk afghans. we have been tasked to build capacity to support up to 50,000 afghans. to do that, the department of
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defense has established task forces at fort lee in virginia, fort bliss in texas, fort mccoy in wisconsin and in new jersey: august 25, three additional military installations will provide support for sivs, families and others. this increases quantico and holloman air force base. fort picket has about 1,000 afghans and we're working with holloman and quantico to get their capacities. while not a task force, u.s. northern command is supporting operation allies refuge with services and additional forces including assisting with managing the flow of evacuees at dulles airport and the philadelphia international airport in pennsylvania.
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that airport is opening today. additional sites are possible. here's a snapshot of the numbers. task force eagle in virginia has a capacity for 1,750. today task force eagle at fort lee has supported 1,647 afghan special immigrant visa applicants and their families. nearly half of whom have completed the process and moved on with the support of the department of state, nongovernmental, intergovernmental organizations. in fort bliss, they have a capacity of 5,000 and started receiving flights august 31. the base has supported 2,160 afghans, hard and soft strictures. final capacities expected to be at least 10,000. task force mccoy wisconsin has a
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capacity of 10,000 and received their first flights sunday, august 22. they have support 2,383 afghans that are being housed in hard structures with showers and bathrooms in each building. task force liberty in new jersey currently has a capacity of 3,500 received their first group of afghans wednesday, august 25. task force liberty has supported 1,192 afghans being housed in a mix of hard and soft-sided structures. final capacity is expected to be 10,000. our total capacity at the four installations is approximately 21,000 and growing. we're steadily working to increase capacity to the 50,000 number by september 15. the number of military installations supporting this effort could increase in the
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future. the request for assistance from the state department requested that the department of defense provide culturally appropriate food, water, bed, recreational activities and other services like transportation from the port of entry to the location of accommodations and some medical services as well. a team of military civilian and contract personnel are working closely with numerous agencies, government and nongovernment to ensure further requirements and additional capabilities are available for vulnerable afghans. in addition, the department of homeland security is working to conduct the screens and security vetting for all special immigrant visa applicants in the fastest way possible consistent with providing protection for vulnerable afghans that supported the united states. that process involves biometric and bio graphic screenings by
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law enforcement and counter terrorism professionals. we're working around the clock to vet all afghans before allowing them in the united states. during visits to fort lee, fort mccoy and fort bliss, i saw the operation and i proudly watched our u.s. personnel operating with compassion as they helped afghans and their families that have done so much for the united states and our allies through two decades of conflict. i also talked with the afghans in each location. during a conversation with a family, i asked if they what they needed, if they were doing okay, getting enough to eat and enough to sleep. the father thanked me saying they had what they needed and it was the first time in a long time that he has slept without being afraid for his family's safety. thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines are working a cross the united states to complete this incredibly important mission, to
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provide afghan colleagues a safe harbor while they timize their immigration process. i'm grateful for the support of the community surrounding our bases and the volunteers and others aiding in all of these efforts. tear we're honoring our commitment to our afghan partners and families and i look forward to taking questions. thank you. >> thank you, general. lita. >> hi, general. i have a quick numbers question for you. can you tell us how many evacuees have gone through dulles? the governor said today is number is 14,000. we were told earlier there was 7,000 siv. can you square those numbers for us? >> unfortunately, i don't have a specific number. state department would be best to answer that. i can tell you what has come to us. that's 6,578 in four separate
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locations. i will tell you what we're seeing is of those that do arrive at dulles, about 40% or so have been coming to us and other status like having a green card where they can move on from dulles. >> my follow up is, can you give us an assistment of the security risks as well as the covid risks as you're doing and everyone is doing these screenings what security risks are you see something are you seeing a number of people showing up on lists and what about covid? how is that testing going and what are the threats at the bases for covid? >> thanks. so for security, i would defer to dhs who runs that operation. i'm very comfortable, we worked to streamline that operation. as i said in my opening comments, we're doing biometric testing across the various
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agencies to include counter terrorism and intelligence communities. what we're seeing is folks coming across cleared by the process, which i'm comfortable with. with regards to covid, the afghans coming from the middle east into our locations that we have stood up are all being tested multiple times. we test them 100% upon arrival at each location. they're getting tests at dulles as well. in route they get tested. i'll give you numbers. we are seeing so far to date when i was at fort mccoy only three out of more than 1,300 had tested positive. when i went to fort bliss, one out of 1,200 tested positive for covid. i hope that helps. >> one out of 1,200. jen? >> hi, general. it's jennifer griffin with fox news. i want to go back to numbers.
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what percentage would you say of the people that are processing on to these bases are siv holders or applicants or are you also housing people who apply for refugee status? i'm trying to understand the breakdown of who is on the bases. secondly, there's reports from dulles that some of those some of the commercial flights have had to keep people on the tarmac up to 10 hours while screeners come on board. is that a dhs issue? are you aware that issue at dulles? >> >> thanks. on the siv numbers, i don't have that exact number in front of me. what i would tell you is the siv numbers have not been in excess of 50%. i don't have the detail right now. with regard to the problems at dulles, i'm aware of the longer
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waits that you described. we worked very hard over the last couple days to make the process as efficient and effective. when i say we, dod worked with the process owner, dhs, to streamline this. specifically customs and boarder protection along with tsa who owns that process, if you will. some of the challenges, use of the proper vetting authorities to ensure that we looked at the same ones and that they were coming across, we knew exactly who was certifying that. that is customs that was certifying it across to the other side. what was happening is, if the improper system was utilized, they were being flagged as red on the receiving end at dulles. that should give you comfort that we're not leaning towards more conservative of pushing them out but ensuring
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verification. when i took the brief this morning, we had no airplanes on the ramp at dulles waiting for customs. i don't have an update but i believe we're in a good position, jennifer. >> thank you, general. following up on jen's question, can you talk about the challenges that you've had with the dod and dhs systems, the biometric systems, being able to pass that information in a timely manner? explain a little bit more about how the different flagging red that you've seen because names are passed through different systems. >> we can't answer that question. that is a question for dhs. i apologize. i just don't have that information. >> to follow up a little bit more humanitarian. with the thousands of afghans that are going on to these
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bases, many of them left their country with very little and probably have different levels of means to start with like over here. how long is dod prepared to house and feed the refugees? >> we're prepared to house and feed them as long as it takes to get them through the process and as long as the secretary approves that. i agree with you. they're coming here, starting over with what they bring with them. we've been incredibly well-supported by the local communities, the nongovernmental organizations that have jumped in to help these families with things of need like diapers, formula, clothing. you name it. you see the gamut when you talk about the large numbers and we've been tremendously blessed to have great support. >> willing to host as they go through the process. what do you mean by the process? if they don't have a place to go, how long can they stay on
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base? >> they stay on -- they'll stay on base until they complete the special immigrant visa processing process, which is owned by the state department with the support. we provide medical support, contract medical support as part of that. each of the applicants will go through a screening process like screening for diseases, vaccinations, if they need vaccinated. we'll have the international migration organization come in towards the end and work with them on where they need to be relocated. many have family here in the united states. or they'll be relocated to places where there's already afghan populations, et cetera. what we saw at fort lee with those that already had some type of a special immigrant visa processing is that was taken about five to seven days. we won't know exactly how long it will take until the state department and everybody is on the ground full up and ready to
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begin processing. we've been at this for a few days. so at each location we will spin up quickly here and begin the application and the process for a special immigrant status. >> the siv application process is a long process. what happens if at some point while somebody is on the military base they feel the screen something are they going back to afghanistan? what is the plan there? are you also taking questions? >> later. >> i defer you to the department of state for that. that's their area of expertise. we're prepared to continue this support until we get through this process in support of the state department. >> if somebody failed the screening process and is already on a u.s. facility.
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>> they have already gone the screening before putting their feet on u.s. soil. when they are through customed, they're paroled into the united states of america. if they have relatives, theoretically they can go with those relatives what we're doing is helping them get through the screening process. we provide all of the governmental organizations to support the medical process, et cetera. so we are not doing security screenings in support of state department. this is nor special immigrant status. i hope that clarifies it. >> tony with bloomberg news. do you have a break down by gender roughly how many women, boys, girls and men have processed by dod? second question about culturally appropriate food. are we talking about mres or
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local kitchens being hired to cook? >> thanks, tony. so we're seeing about 50/50, male/female. that can change. 15% with children. seeing a lot of the females that are pregnant. so i don't have a specific detail for what you asked about for the total number with the children, male, female, et cetera. that gives you an idea. we're seeing 513 children at one local for 30% of the location. with regards to your second question, we contract to provide support, you know, meals, multiple meals for large windows. for example, we'll provide a breakfast meal for halal. we'll shut down -- when i say we, it's the contract support. we'll spin up for a lunch meal and do the same for dinner.
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most locations i believe there have or do have a 24-hour grab and go culturally for the afghans as well. i hope that answers your food question. >> go to the phone. laura from politco. >> hi, john. thanks for taking my question. i wanted to ask first of all ned price said he didn't know how many sivs had been evacuated. can you square that with the numbers that you gave earlier? is that a discrepancy between the ones evacuated and the total number that has come to the united states? what is it there and what are we miss something. >> laura, you need to ask the state department. i don't have that data for you. that is a question for them. >> and are the -- as a follow
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up, how many sivs and other afghans do you estimate are still at the kabul airport awaiting a flight out? >> i'll defer to general mckenzie. i don't know that answer. the state department or centcom may have that answer for you, laura. >> it was between 3,000 and 5,000 earlier today. as we have talked about before, this is a snapshot in time. it literally changes by the hour. the last thing that i saw is somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000. courtney? >> courtney from nbc news. a couple of clarifications. when you talk about how they -- these individuals have gone through the screening process before they set foot here in the united states, does that mean their names have been run through the national counter terrorism database? >> courtney, things. it's my understanding that each one of them and their names and
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biographical data and biometric data has been run through the established databases. >> second, you mentioned some of the medical support that the military is providing including vaccinations. does that include covid vaccines at the bases? are they mandatory or optional? >> the vaccines are offered to them at dulles. we offer them as well as a task force locations. they're not mandatory. many are takening the vaccine. >> on the paperwork that they're getting assistance for siv paperwork, is there any military component? are there any military members assisting with the paperwork? >> the paperwork on our end for account ability purposes, where they arrive at the task forces, we absolutely are part of that paperwork process to ensure accountability, to provide
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security, et cetera for them at each of those locations. prior to arriving at our task force locations, we're not directly involved with the paperwork process. i don't know the role in centcom of their forces. i defer you to general mckenzie. >> general, megan myers from military times. i want to ask why these particular bases were chosen for sivs? is it for space reasons, hard and soft buildings and/or what was it proximity to afghan communities? >> it wasn't necessarily for the specific location. the department took a look at each location to ensure that they had sufficient capacity, that there was capability in the region to support it. the infrastructure and the bases
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was also a consideration those were all provided by the services. the services provided within the recommendations for the department, they took a look at each location and offered up those installations for approval by the department. >> one more. trace? >> yeah, i'm trace with newsy. for the children on base, are there any educational classes being provided for them? if not, are the children about to go to the cdcs on base? >> a great question. so the answer to the last part first, currently i'm not aware of any of them using cdcs on base. but there's an outpouring of support from the local areas, local communities, organizations, nongovernmental
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that have showed up at each location to provide coloring books, books to read, educational opportunities, sports. at fort bliss when i was down there, the soldiers built soccer goals and set up soccer areas for them to practice and play soccer to keep them occupied. a great news story. >> general, i'm going to turn it over to you for closing thoughts you might have. >> thanks, john. for everybody in the room and on the phone, it's a privilege to talk to you today and a privilege to be executing this mission for those that have helped us for a couple of decades. we continue to look forward to supporting them. we're prepared to do this as long as it takes to ensure that we get them settleded here back in the united states of america. i'm really proud of the soldiers, sailors, amen and marines. i have coasties working here for
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you, guardians, you name it. we're working hard. every time i look them in the eye and talk to them, you cannot imagine how proud and privileged that they are to support this mission. they tell me that all the time when i've been out on circulation. i feel the exact same way and we look forward to continue to make this a successful operation. thanks for letting me tell the story. >> thanks for your time this afternoon. okay. i have time to take a few on my own. >> martha: all right. we're going to keep an eye on the kirby q&a here as we get an update just moments ago from the air force general. i want to bring in victor davis hanson who has been looking at this with us this afternoon a senior fellow at the national review institute. good to have you with us. i'm struck as i listened to this general talking about what a great job we're doing with these
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families once they get here. i think that's wonderful. but i can't help but think that they shouldn't have had to come here in the first place. the idea was that they would be protected as thriving in their own country. we saw all of that has fallen apart in short order the past several weeks in afghanistan. what did you think as you listen to this today? >> well, i share your feelings. they can give us all the information about the extraneous but can't give us any information about how 13 people died, what are they going to do to prevent it. general mckenzie said yesterday they're working with the taliban. they have the same agenda as we. we want everybody out but august 31. that's a lie. their agenda is they want everybody out by august 31 with the greatest amount of death and hu mallation and destruction. our agenda is to get them out with none of that the idea that you'll conflate those aims is pathetic. this idea that we're going to bring in people after 13 people are dead and we're talking today
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about culturally appropriate food or they're not going to have to be vaccinated when this government is telling people that they have to be vaccinated to go to school or to teach or to work for corporation? there's something wrong with this whole therapeutic culture and it's not just extraneous. it's one of the reasons we're in the trouble that we're in right now. when the state department said all the problems are long with the karzai airport, everybody was thinking you had the best airport in central asia that had none of those problems and you gave it up and now you're whining this mediocre airport is difficult to work with. they never explained why they gave it up or why they can't take it back or anything. we get all of this information and how we're so therapeutic, but none about what happened and how to prevented it in a military sense. it's very disturbing. >> martha: indeed it is. i think there's a bit of a disconnect when we hear these individuals come out and talk
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about it. i agree with you. i think that we're still -- we should be processing the death of these 13 individuals. i just saw a picture of one of these youngman, a navy corpsman. it's heart breaking. what -- the number 1 topic of discussion right now should be how do we prevent this happening again. i'm sure they're doing everything but we know the situation is not easier. it's getting more difficult. victor, i have to leave it there. thanks very much for weighing in as we watch all of this. a lot going on this afternoon. breaking news on the origins of covid-19. a declassified intel report ordered by president biden in may has still yet to conclude in the virus came from the lab in wuhan, china or originated in nature. the report says that china's leaders were unaware of the virus before an initial small scare outbreak began around november of 2019.
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officials say the virus was not developed as a biological weapon. but this was a 90-day report. we know david asher said this is not an investigation. this is an essay. we'll look forward to hearing what he had to say. he had been doing an actual investigation at the end of the trump administration. we leave you there and pick it up again with you on monday. have a great evening, everybody. see you monday. >> neil: thank you, martha. we're getting mixed signals from the pentagon briefing. when the taliban was claiming that the airport is under taliban control, we just heard from john kirby that said that that is not true. that u.s. forces still are. all of this on the same day that we discovered we're up to 105,000 since the government fell in afghanistan who have been flown out of that country. could be a bumpy process but going along more swiftly than


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