- Reps. Meijer and Moulton made an unauthorized trip to Afghanistan on Tuesday, prompting strong backlash.
- Phil Mudd, a former intelligence official, slammed the duo on CNN for taking an “Instagram trip” to Kabul.
- He also said House leaders should seize this “chance for bipartisanship” and kick both lawmakers off their committees.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A former intelligence official on Wednesday criticized Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan and Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts for taking an “Instagram trip” to Afghanistan.
“Two members of Congress, without the support of their leadership, decided that they’re going to bypass Disneyland and take an Instagram trip to Afghanistan because they want some eye candy for a bunch of constituents,” said Phil Mudd, a former intelligence official who has held posts in the CIA and FBI.
“If I were Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy, I would see this as a chance for bipartisanship,” Mudd added. “Both those guys, on their committees, out. Done.”
-The Recount (@therecount) August 25, 2021
On Tuesday morning, Reps. Meijer and Moulton made an unauthorized trip to the Kabul airport amid the US evacuation effort. They “figured out a way onto an empty military flight going into Kabul,” according to The Washington Post.
“It’s as moronic as it is selfish,” a senior administration official told The Post anonymously. “They’re taking seats away from Americans and at-risk Afghans – while putting our diplomats and service members at greater risk – so they can have a moment in front of the cameras.”
Mudd echoed the sentiment, saying: “What happens to the two refugees who didn’t get those seats, what do you tell them?”
In a joint press release, the congressmen said they went to Kabul to “provide oversight” on the evacuation effort and claimed that they sat in “crew-only” seats to ensure they didn’t take the spot of any evacuees.
-Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) August 25, 2021
Moulton also posted a photo on Twitter from the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
-Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) August 25, 2021
“It was not, in my view, a good idea,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the trip at a Wednesday morning press conference. Pelosi on Tuesday night circulated a letter among her colleagues discouraging further travel to the region.
Other House Democrats have criticized the trip as well, calling it “irresponsible” and highlighting the misuse of resources.
-Sara Jacobs (@SaraJacobsCA) August 25, 2021
-Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (@RepDean) August 25, 2021