Earlier today, I joined @POTUS in the Oval to witness him sign the PAWS Act, a bipartisan bill that connects veterans, particularly those with PTSD, to service dogs.
Afterwards, the President invited the small handful of us present to have a frank conversation about Afghanistan.
We talked for about 35 minutes. It’s clear the President is deeply engaged on the situation in Kabul.
I raised my concerns with the August 31st deadline, the importance of ensuring that both Americans and Afghans who worked on our behalf be able to get through Taliban checkpoints up until the 31st, and my concerns about what happens in the days and months after we depart.
I also raised the specific case of a large convoy of Afghans who my team has been working to get through the airport gates, and who have since been let in.
We did not always agree, but the President clearly has Afghanistan at top of mind, and I appreciated the chance to express my thoughts on the way forward.

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More from @RepSlotkin

28 Aug
Just a few hours ago, after what has been a tense, 10-day odyssey, Team Slotkin successfully helped evacuate 114 Afghan nationals out of Kabul and to safety. 1/14
Over 70 of these folks were affiliated with Michigan State University, while another 30+ were former Deputy Ministers, staff, and military officers of the former Afghan government who were being threatened and hunted by the Taliban. 2/14
Most of these Afghan nationals were flown this evening to Albania, where, thanks to the generosity of the Albanian government and the expeditious work of diplomats, they will be staying for the foreseeable future. 3/14
Read 14 tweets
23 Aug
As I head back to D.C. for votes this week, my team and I are still focused on moving Afghan nationals to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, for eventual transport out of Afghanistan. 1/9
Our office is working on evacuating over 500 Afghans, from all walks of life, who have helped the United States and the cause of freedom. It's been many long nights for me and my team over the past week, and it has been maddening. 2/9
Although this may be on the tactical side, there are several key hurdles that must be overcome for us to live up to our commitment to safely evacuate our Afghan partners. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
21 Jan
Today, I voted in favor of the waiver for Lloyd Austin. I was initially skeptical of putting a second recently-retired four-star general in charge of the Pentagon, which, having served there myself for seven years, works as designed when civilians oversee major defense decisions.
My concerns were never personal: I have deep respect for Secretary-designate Austin. We have worked together, particularly on countering ISIS, for a good part of the last decade.
Without a doubt, Secretary-designate Austin had an incredible military career, and his nomination is a truly historic and important one given where we are as a nation.
Read 8 tweets
18 Nov 20
Today the acting Sec. Def. announced a quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan & Iraq. Whatever one's views, making such a quick move without coordination with our NATO, Iraqi and Afghan allies, after so much blood has been shed, hurts us in both the short and long-term.
In the short term, the quick timeline opens up the risk of attack, of disorganization, and provides an opportunity to our enemies.

But in the long-run, it may be even more harmful.
The American handshake has to mean something. It is our word and our bond.

If we ask allies and partners to fight alongside us, we are committing to be there for each other to fight common threats.
Read 5 tweets
9 Nov 20
In my experience, there would only be a few reasons to fire a Secretary of Defense with 72 days left in an Administration.

One would be incompetence or wrongdoing, which do not seem to be the issue with Secretary Esper.
A second would be vindictiveness, which would be an irresponsible way to treat our national security.

A third would be because the President wants to take actions that he believes his Secretary of Defense would refuse to take, which would be alarming.
Whatever the reason, casting aside a Secretary of Defense during the volatile days of transition seems to neglect the President’s most important duty: to protect our national security.
Read 6 tweets
6 Nov 20
President Trump has been telling us for six months that he would contest the election if he didn’t win.

Now that we’re here, it is time for every leader, from the President’s cabinet to local elected officials here in Michigan, to choose: fealty to President Trump, or democracy.
History is presenting a real test for the people who have downplayed the president’s anti-democratic words and deeds.

Leaders can no longer dodge their responsibilities to our democracy. These responsibilities are bigger than one man or any one party.
Cabinet officials need to signal, clearly and publicly, that they will not aid the president’s attempts to undermine our elections.

Senior Republican elected officials need to speak out, now, to make clear they will not participate in attempts to thwart the will of the voters.
Read 4 tweets

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