Speaking to Congress today on the collapse of Afghanistan and the US withdrawal from the war-torn nation, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that there are still Americans stranded in Afghanistan.
"We're in constant contact with American citizens still in Afghanistan who have told us they wish to leave. Each has been assigned a case management team to offer specific guidance and instruction," Blinken told Congress.
Blinken said that there were about 100 American citizens left in Afghanistan who are seeking to leave, and that the State Department "does not track directly" the number of US green card holders remaining in the country, but that there were likely "several thousand."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked by Fox News' Peter Doocy about the charter flights stuck on the ground in Afghanistan. "The Secretary of State said there are limits to what we can do without personnel on the ground," Doocy remarked. "You just said we are not on the ground."
"You're right," Psaki replied.
"Whose fault is that?" Doocy asked.
"I don't think this is about fault here. I think what people want to understand is what we're doing to help address it. There's a handful of Americans," Psaki said, "and I'm sure you're not suggesting we should have flights with hundreds of people. We don't know who they are, where there's no security protocols."
"There's a handful of Americans who we are also in touch with," Psaki said, "and we are working to help get evacuated from Afghanistan. But decisions you have to make in the federal government are not 'yes, and no decisions' or as simple as what you're laying out here.
"What we're evaluating and looking at is how to keep people on our military bases safe, while also getting these US citizens, dual citizens, people who are prepared to leave Afghanistan, able to leave. At the same time, we don't think we're not going to allow flights that have hundreds of people who don't know who they are, who haven't been security protocol through security protocols, where we haven't seen the manifest to land on US military bases."