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U.S. Rep. Meijer issues statement explaining unauthorized trip to Kabul

U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer portrait
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, (R-Grand Rapids, MI-3)

Michigan U.S. Representatives Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts have issued a joint statement about their unauthorized trip to Afghanistan.

The flight to Kabul, Afghanistan is described as an oversight mission. U.S. Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan and U.S. Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts are both military veterans. Meijer a Republican and Moulton a Democrat say they wanted to witness for themselves the evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies.

In a news release, an explanation for conducting an unauthorized visit, “As members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight on the Executive Branch. There is no place in the world right now where oversight matters more. We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand. We left on a plane with empty seats, seated in crew-only seats to ensure that nobody who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence.”

The congressmen adding, “We came into this visit wanting, like most veterans, to push the president to extend the August 31st deadline. After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation firsthand, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, no matter what we do, we won’t get everyone out on time, even by September 11. Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current bizarre relationship with the Taliban.”

Meijer and Moulton say they’ll being sharing more about what they learned in the coming days.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.