Afghanistan updates: World Bank freezes aid after Taliban takeover

Chaos has enveloped Kabul after Afghanistan’s government’s collapsed and the Taliban seized control, all but ending America’s 20-year campaign as it began: under Taliban rule.

The U.S. has evacuated approximately 37,000 people since the effort began on Aug. 14, Pentagon officials said Monday, while reiterating their focus remains on maintaining the airport perimeter and increasing the number of evacuees out of Kabul ahead of the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

President Joe Biden sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos for an exclusive one-on-one interview at the White House last week, the president’s first interview since the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Biden has also addressed the nation several times since.

Pelosi calls lawmakers’ unauthorized trip ‘deadly serious’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill said it was “deadly serious” that two House members traveled to Kabul on an unauthorized trip and that the action prompted her to write a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday evening warning them not to travel to Afghanistan.

Pelosi said she learned that veterans and Reps. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., and Seth Moulton, D-Mass., traveled to the Hamid Karzai International Airport “a little bit before it was in the public domain” but said officials couldn’t make their visit known wider until the lawmakers were in safe airspace.

“There’s a real concern about members being in the region,” Pelosi said. “With the knowledge of the secretary of defense, as to what the risk would be to these members, the resources necessary to facilitate their visit and to protect them, [it] was an opportunity cost of what we needed to do to be evacuating as many people as possible.”

“This is deadly serious,” she added. “They do not want members to go.”

Pelosi said she hasn’t yet spoken to Meijer or Molton but took the chance to deter other members from following suit, saying it would present “a call on our resources.”

“We wanted to make sure they were safe for themselves, but also for what consequences could flow, ramifications, if something happened to them while they were there, so they have to make their own case as to why they went,” she said. “But it was not, in my view, a good idea.”

Meijer and Moulton have defended the trip amid criticism that they distracted from the mission.

The United States has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of some 82,300 people from Kabul since Aug. 14 when the Taliban closed in on Afghanistan’s capital, according to a White House official.

In a 24-hour period from Tuesday to Monday, 42 U.S. military flights carried approximately 11,200 evacuees out of Kabul. Another 7,800 people were evacuated via 48 coalition aircraft. Since the end of July, approximately 87,900 people have been relocated from Kabul via U.S. military and coalition flights, the White House official said.