‘We will kill you’: Congressman says U.S. should reject Taliban threats over Aug. 31 deadline

Rep. Dan Crenshaw said Tuesday that the Biden administration “should laugh at” Taliban threats regarding any extension of the U.S. airlift operation in Afghanistan, insisting that the military should reject any timetable imposed by the Islamist militant group.

“We need to send a very clear message to the Taliban: We’re not negotiating about our deadline,” the Texas Republican, a former Navy SEAL who served in Afghanistan, said in a POLITICO Playbook virtual interview. “That should be the message. We should laugh at them when they say, ‘Oh well that’s a red line for us [and] you need to be out by August 31.’ No. And if you get in our way when we are extracting Americans, we will kill you. That is the only message that Biden should be delivering to the Taliban.”

Crenshaw’s comments followed recent remarks from a Taliban spokesperson, who warned that there would be “consequences” if the U.S. did not adhere to President Joe Biden’s self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline to complete the evacuation of Americans and U.S. allies from Afghanistan. While Biden had previously suggested he could extend the deadline to pull troops out of Afghanistan if needed, he indicated on Tuesday that he will stick to the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline following a Pentagon recommendation, according to two people familiar with the matter.