The Pentagon said Thursday there were no ongoing communications between the US and the Taliban, despite hundreds of Americans still stranded in Afghanistan. The US State Department said as of Sunday, they tried to get the remaining 250 US nationals out before Tuesday's withdrawal deadline.
Reports indicate that 150-200 Americans remain landlocked in the war-torn nation.
Fox News' Jen Griffin asked Thursday: "Has anyone from the Pentagon or CENTCOM had any contact with the Taliban... since the last troops left to begin making arrangements to either coordinate or work together?"
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby responded: "None that I'm aware of."
Despite reports of Americans and allies stranded in Afghanistan, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said no Americans were left behind amid conflicting new reports.
Among those still in Afghanistan include twenty-nine Sacramento students.
The San Juan Unified School District confirmed that they have 29 students who remain in Afghanistan. They initially reported that 32 of their students were still there, but three have since been evacuated. The remaining students come from 19 families, though it is unclear if they are US citizens.
The office of Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) confirmed that students in his district are trapped in Afghanistan and that the Biden administration has provided no update on their status. His office remains in contact with the Juan Unified School District as they wait for updates.
Politico reported that anger is growing in Congress after the Biden administration left behind Americans not yet evacuated.
“Hundreds of Americans and thousands of our Afghan allies have been left behind enemy lines. This is not a mission accomplished. This is a complete disgrace,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.). He authored a bill that would’ve extended the withdrawal deadline until every willing evacuee got out.
"America’s last flight left Afghanistan, even though we still don’t know the total number of Americans trapped behind enemy lines — it’s unforgivable," added Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).
Many Democratic lawmakers also privately expressed frustration over President Joe Biden's inability to evacuate every US citizen who wanted out. However, none went on the record because they didn't want to bash the president over a broken promise.
US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker called the exit a "self-inflicted wound," adding that Biden should have seen the Taliban takeover coming.
"We're going to pay for that for a long time to come, and that's why it is insane – just idiotic – to think that we can tell the Taliban that if they don't stop taking over territory and play nice, the international community will withhold recognition and support," said Crocker.
Since August 14, the US has either evacuated or aided the evacuation of around 111,900 people. Since the end of July, 117,500 people have fled the war-torn country.