House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul on China, Border, Ukraine and Afghanistan
HOUSTON - Texas Congressman and Chairman Michael McCaul, spoke with us on this edition of Texas: The Issue Is.
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During an interview, the Chairman shared his thoughts on the Biden administration's pulling out of Afghanistan, as well as his take on the continued aid and support to Ukraine.
Greg Groogan: "You have been extremely critical of the administration in regard to the chaotic pullout from Afghanistan. The revelation of an undisclosed dissent cable from 23 members of the embassy staff has triggered a subpoena from your committee demanding Secretary of State Blinken respond. What do you hope to learn?"
Chairman Michael McCaul: "What I want to get from this dissenting cable was in July, 23 embassy employees out of Kabul on the ground in Afghanistan, sent a cable of dissent to the policy of the administration and to the Secretary of State. That's a pretty powerful statement that your troops on the ground and in other words, your diplomats on the ground, do not support what you're doing. Yet, the State Department utterly fails to turn this over to Congress, where we have a constitutional right for oversight for the American people. And not just that, but the veterans and the Gold Star mothers who lost their children. I met many. They thank me for what I'm trying to do. They would not turn these cables over to me. Then I offered to see them in camera in a classified setting. They would not budge on this. And so I was really left with no other choice but to serve a subpoena. I've done that before as a federal prosecutor. I think the American people deserve to know what were in those cables, what was the Secretary's response. And beyond that, Greg, where the sniper testified he was in Kabul, at the airport during the evacuation, who had the suicide bomber that killed 13 servicemen and women in his sights, asked his commanding officer for permission to engage the target and he was not given that authority or permission to engage. This was a dereliction of duty and I'm going up the chain of command as high as it goes to find out what in the world happened."
Greg Groogan: "Chairman McCaul, Two and a half years have passed and 5.5 million uninvited immigrants have crossed into the nation, many through Texas. How many have legitimate asylum claims and what are your biggest concerns moving forward?"
Chairman McCaul: "Well, when I chaired the Homeland Security Committee and as a federal prosecutor in the Western District of Texas, only 15% have legitimate political asylum claims. That means 85% do not. This is why the remain-in-Mexico policy was working so well. It required them to remain in Mexico pending their asylum claim and then 85% were rejected, and then they'd have to return home. Once they touched foot in the United States like they do today after the Biden administration rescinded that migrant protection policy, that changed everything with "catch and release", without detention space there, then released into society. And, you know, of course, the cartels are very much aware of our laws, and they know when they change. This was an open invitation to invite the situation we're in right now."
Greg Groogan: "Chairman, you warned early and often about the ongoing national security threat posed by China. What are some fundamental facts you want everyday Texans to remember as we move into the future on everything from TicTok to Taiwan?"
Chairman McCaul: "I think China, long term, is the greatest national security threat. They are moving ahead both militarily, but also economically. They're getting very good with their digital, you know, their investments in AI, quantum computing, and 5G. I think the flash points I look at are twofold. One is they're arming, helping Russia out by sending arms into Ukraine. Secondly, their threat to Taiwan in the Pacific. Chairman Xi is very intent on reunification of Taiwan with this country, which when I look back to my dad's World War, they liberated Europe and the Pacific and now you see two dictators trying to take that back. Why is Taiwan so important? Because 90% of advanced semiconductor chips are manufactured on that island because we've offshored everything for so long. That's why I introduced and passed my Chips for America Act, to pull that supply chain out of Taiwan and China and start manufacturing it back here in the United States."
Greg Groogan: "Chairman, speaking of Russia, you have been a stout supporter of Ukraine, and yet your own party appears to be divided on how long America's military and financial aid should extend. You've called for heightened oversight. Why?"
Chairman McCaul: "I'm going to keep that oversight because I think the American people want to know where the money has gone and want to know what is the policy, what is the outcome we're looking for. There's going to be a counter-offensive by the Ukrainians fairly soon. My biggest complaint with the administration is the lack of ability to get the weapons the Ukrainians need to win this fight. The Ukrainians have demonstrated a will to fight and to win. If we can just give them the weapons.
"I'll give you this one stat. We have disintegrated 60 percent of the Russian military without one American soldier, at a cost of less than 3% of the defense budget. A major setback to a foreign nation adversary and a major deterrent to Chairman Xi and China from invading Taiwan."