After secret trip to Afghanistan, congressman says we need a 'productive relationship with the Taliban'

·2 min read

Rep. Seth Moulton stopped by Cuomo Prime Time Thursday, fresh off a secret — and controversial — trip the Massachusetts Democrat took to Afghanistan earlier this week, along with his Republican colleague and fellow Iraq War veteran Peter Meijer.

When asked to evaluate President Biden’s Aug. 31 evacuation deadline, Moulton said that after being over there and speaking with commanders on the ground, the mission at hand should really be about what comes after the deadline. He claimed that’s because of the thousands of people who will inevitably be left behind no matter what date is set for final evacuations.

“We're not going to get everybody out in time, so we have to have a productive relationship with the Taliban going forward. As bizarre as that sounds,” Moulton said. “We have to have a productive relationship with the Taliban going forward, if we have any chance of getting the thousands that we leave behind when we do go, out in the future.”

While looking beyond the 31st is important, Moulton said that having the deadline in place does matter, especially when it comes to having that productive relationship he envisions.

“The only way we can do that is if we abide by the agreement that's been negotiated at this point, which is to leave on Aug. 31,” Moulton said. “It's heartbreaking. But that's the position that we've been in. And that's the position that people in Washington have put our troops in.”

Even though Moulton’s trip wasn’t very well received by Nancy Pelosi and others, he told Cuomo that he doesn’t care what people are saying in D.C., and that he is focused on saving lives and doing his job to better help those who are trying to save lives. And after seeing firsthand the brave young men and women who are over there, Moulton was clearly moved.

“It was absolutely extraordinary, and I've seen a lot, Chris,” Moulton said. “I have been through a lot, and I have never been more proud to be an American than I was that day.”

Cuomo Prime Time airs weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on CNN.

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