Hawley slams closed-door Afghanistan withdrawal hearing as 'a joke'

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Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican, slammed the Wednesday closed-door Senate hearing on the Biden administration’s deadly Afghanistanwithdrawal as "a joke."

The Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees held a joint hearing on Wednesday about President Biden’s botched withdrawal that saw 13 U.S. service members killed.

When speaking to reporters, Hawley torched the oversight hearing as "a joke" and decried the closed-door hearing as "absolutely outrageous."


Sen. Josh Hawley speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 29, 2021, in Washington. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

"The fact that this hearing is happening behind closed doors is absolutely outrageous," Hawley said. "It is a total travesty and it is for one reason only: they do not want to have any accountability. They do not want to answer questions in public."

Hawley noted that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley "and company" have not responded to the senator’s questions for the record since the last hearing "in September."

"They still have not replied. Why?" Hawley said. "Because those answers might become public. They don’t want to answer any questions in public."

"This is a joke. It is not oversight, it is a joke," Hawley also said. "And now as this administration blunders into war in Ukraine, guess what they’re going to do tomorrow? Brief us on Ukraine. How? Behind closed doors, because they don’t want you asking any questions, they don’t want the American people seeing their answers, they don’t want to be accountable for anything."

President Joe Biden arrives on Marine One to the South Lawn of the White House on Nov. 21, 2021.

President Joe Biden arrives on Marine One to the South Lawn of the White House on Nov. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Missouri senator called the Biden administration "the most disastrous" in regards to foreign policy "since the Vietnam War," and reiterated that the committee hearing is "a joke."


"What’s happening today is a clown show. It is meant to be a clown show, and it is an absolute travesty," Hawley said.

Hawley said he was "livid" about the closed-door hearing and accused the Biden administration of trying to "shut" out the American public.

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