DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Trump's Claims of Americans "Trapped" in Afghanistan Disputed by Biden Officials

Trump's Claims of Americans "Trapped" in Afghanistan Disputed by Biden Officials

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized President Joe Biden's handling of the 2021 American withdrawal from Afghanistan, highlighting what he portrays as hundreds or thousands of U.S. citizens stranded in a Taliban-controlled nation.

Trump, in remarks following his Super Tuesday victories, lamented the loss of 13 soldiers and the injuries of 38 others during the withdrawal, emphasizing the Americans left behind, whom he referred to as "hostages."

Echoing these sentiments, a recent video released by Trump's campaign reiterated the assertion of Americans still residing in Afghanistan, characterizing them as potential hostages.

Contrary to these claims, two senior Biden administration national security officials informed NBC News that the Taliban is detaining only two Americans, while others in Afghanistan are there voluntarily.

According to the officials, every American who wished to depart has done so, with no individuals left behind. Additionally, efforts are ongoing to evacuate Afghan allies on a monthly basis.

However, State Department officials acknowledge the difficulty in providing an exact count of U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan and seeking assistance to leave.

"Given the fluidity of the situation and the various movements of individuals in and out of the country over the past 30 months since our embassy closed, determining the precise number of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is challenging," stated a spokesperson for the State Department.

The exchange underscores the ongoing debate surrounding the aftermath of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the status of Americans still present in the region.

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