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Oklahoma congressman says he’s returning home after “helping get Americans out of Afghanistan”

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 8:06 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Where is Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.)? According to an Instagram post, Mullin said he is heading home.

“Have we been helping get Americans out of Afghanistan, yes,” he said in his Instagram post.

Here’s the backstory: According to a Washington Post report, Mullin called the U.S. embassy in Tajikistan, a country on Afghanistan’s northeast border, asking for help to get into Afghanistan in an attempt to help Americans evacuate.

According to the Post report, Mullin wanted to bring a large amount of cash into Tajikistan so he could hire helicopter pilot for the evacuation.

The article says Mullin wanted U.S. Embassy employees to help him skirt Tajikistani laws on bringing money into the country. Embassy staff reportedly refused, and Mullin allegedly threatened some staff members and U.S. ambassador John Mark Pommersheim.

During Wednesday’s press briefing at the U.S. State Department, spokesman Ned Price was asked whether Mullin actually made it into Afghanistan, but Price didn’t directly answer the question.

“The State Department does not routinely comment on the travel of private citizens, or members of Congress, for that matter. But, we have made it abundantly clear that travel to Afghanistan is not safe,” said Price.

Gray Television Washington News Bureau’s David Ade spoke with Mullin’s friend, former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon on Wednesday.

“I know Markwayne always wants to do the right thing,” said Shannon.

Shannon said he isn’t surprised Mullin may have gone above protocol to do what he believes is right.

“He saw an opening to safely help Americans come home safely,” said Shannon. “I think most Oklahomans, I think most Americans frankly, will agree with him.”

Mullin’s office says the congressman is safe, but didn’t say where he is or was. We requested more information, but his spokeswoman did not respond.

Last month, Reps. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) made unsanctioned trips to Afghanistan and were criticized by the State Department for doing so.

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