Mast Grills Secretary Blinken After Gov Report Claims U.S. Funds Sent to Taliban

Mast Grills Secretary Blinken After Gov Report Claims U.S. Funds Sent to Taliban

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
May 23, 2024

Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) grilled Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Capitol Hill after the SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) Report came out detailing the usage of funds by the U.S. government.

The latest report is named, “U.S. Funds Benefitting the Taliban-Controlled Government: Implementing Partners Paid at Least $10.9 Million and Were Pressured to Divert Assistance,” and Rep. Mast questions Secretary Blinken on that very issue.

“This is a statement of what I believe should be a statement of policy, bipartisanly. Between Republicans in the House, those in the Senate, until state USAID, all those agencies start giving us notice of every one of those grants, sub-grants, solicitations, start giving us notice of every single one of them, we should not be giving you one more dollar,” said Rep. Mast.

The Florida congressman brought up the fact that a half-million dollar grant was issued for “expanding atheism in Nepal” that was initially denied by the U.S. government for a few hours during a committee hearing but was then later acknowledged.

“It’s one example of you all didn’t know where the money that you sent out there from the U.S. taxpayer was going. I was reading over the SIGAR report and looking at the amount of money that has gone directly to the Taliban. It’s not a mystery. It’s not something to argue about,” said Mast.

He later mentioned how 144 U.S. agencies, also known as “implementing partners,” were mentioned in the SIGAR report that have somehow provided funding to the Taliban.

Secretary Blinken responded, “Congressman, we looked very hard at the SIGAR Report. I think it’s very important to note that money does not go directly to the Taliban. It goes to the UN, NGOs. We’ve dedicated about $2 billion so…”

Mast immediately cut him off and said, “Now you’re literally telling lies to the American people. These State dollars went directly to those that were solicited to do it. These ‘implementing partners’ as it’s referred to, and they paid directly, money to the Taliban. Sometimes they labeled it ‘taxes,’ sometimes they labeled it a host of different things, but do not pretend that money did not go directly to the Taliban.”

Blinken then attempted to answer, again: “It did not go directly to the Taliban. Let me, again, if you give me one chance to lay this out very quickly…”

Mast: “No.”

Blinken: “I can answer questions.”

Mast: “Anybody can go out there and read the SIGAR Report.”

Blinken: “I invite them to do that.”

Mast: “The answer is no (referring to Blinken answering the question), not looking to have you filibuster the time for this.”

Congressman Mast represents Florida’s 21st District.

Related Posts

Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


More Related Posts