Speed Reads

have it both ways

Kevin McCarthy seemingly can't make up his mind on whether he wants U.S. troops in Afghanistan

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wants the best of both worlds.

On Friday, McCarthy told reporters that he believes there should be no U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But when Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman asked for clarification, noting that just a few days ago McCarthy suggested there should be some sort of military presence, McCarthy flipped again and argued the U.S. should have kept its Bagram Air Base.

He argued the U.S. could have "maintained it safely" with no casualties, and said it "gave us the opportunity for in the future, to maintain peace."

Confusingly, after voicing his support for keeping Bagram Air Base open indefinitely, McCarthy again stated his support for the U.S. exiting Afghanistan, saying, "I don't think people are arguing about whether we should have left or not in Afghanistan, it's how." 

Sherman said the seemingly contradictory answers left him and other reporters "a bit unclear on what he believes here," also noting the "dissonance between his position now and when Trump was in office." 

Aside from his conflicting answers on troop presence, McCarthy also discussed his frustration with President Biden over his handling of the evacuations. He suggested he may be open to an impeachment effort by Republicans, ominously saying "there will be a day of reckoning."