Secretary Blinken accused of sharing a list of names with the Taliban

By Jenny Goldsberry

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday to explain how he’s gotten busloads of people out of Afghanistan. While he denies that he shared lists of names with the Taliban, he did admit there are times when he needed to provide what he called a manifest.

“The idea that we’ve done anything to put at further risk those that we are trying to help leave the country is simply wrong,” Blinken explained to host Chuck Todd.

“The idea that we shared lists of Americans or others with the Taliban is simply wrong,” he said.

“So, in specific instances when you’re trying to get a bus or a group of people through, and you need to show a manifest to do that, because particularly in cases where people don’t have the necessary credentials on them or documents on them, then you would — you’ll share names on a list of people on the bus so they can be assured that those are people that we’re looking to bring in,” Blinken said. “And by definition, that’s exactly what’s happened. We’ve gotten 5,500 American citizens out of Afghanistan. And to the extent that in an individual case with a particular group or a bus to verify that the people on the bus or in that group were people who were supposed to come out, American citizens, especially, again, if they lacked the right document with them, that’s what we would do. But the idea that we put anyone in any further jeopardy is simply wrong.”

Shortly following the suicide attack at the Kabul airport, Blinken tweeted that he evacuated 100,000 people from Afghanistan.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.