Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) claimed that all Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan had left the country in a Friday interview with an ABC News affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.
Schumer, who was visiting the New York State Fair in Syracuse, was asked by NewsChannel 9 reporter Andrew Donovan how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would affect Democrats in the 2022 midterms.
“I can’t predict that,” Schumer responded. “There’ll be a job for congressional oversight, there always is, but at the moment actual I’m still focused on trying to get some of those brave Afghans out. The Americans, all of whom wanted to come out have come out, praise God.”
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, Schumer’s office claimed the majority leader “misspoke” in making those remarks:
The Friday clip was surfaced today by conservative media/conservatives on social media. Schumer's office said in a statement this afternoon: "He misspoke and he regrets the confusion his comments have caused." Full comment below: pic.twitter.com/VCP3RUAlna
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 7, 2021
“He misspoke and he regrets the confusion his comments may have caused,” the statement read. “He intended to say, as he has been saying, that the U.S. will get everyone out that wants to get out. And he will keep working with the Biden administration to help everyone who wants to get out.”
White House chief of staff Ron Klain claimed in a Sunday interview with CNN that “around 100” Americans are currently trapped in Afghanistan, a claim echoed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during remarks to the press in Qatar on Tuesday. Americans faced numerous hurdles trying to leave the country during the chaotic withdrawal, including massive crowds, Taliban security checkpoints outside the Kabul airport, and the threat of terrorist attacks.
Blinken also confirmed that “a relatively small number of Americans” are attempting to leave on charter flights via Mazar-i-Sharif airport in northern Afghanistan. Those flights have been delayed for days, with hundreds of people, including Americans and U.S. green-card holders, attempting to fly out to Qatar.