Utah Senators react to Kabul attacks

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney are speaking out to ABC4 about the recent attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan.

More than a dozen U.S. military members died, with many others wounded in the Kabul terror bombing early Thursday morning.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney says, “I express deep sympathy and sorrow for the loss of some 13 lives of our service people in Afghanistan today.”

Since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, 27 Utahns made the ultimate sacrifice to keep America safe.

Taliban fighters stand on a pickup truck outside a hospital as volunteers bring injured people for treatment after two powerful explosions, which killed at least six people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Senator Mitt Romney says he believes it’s wrong to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

“I believe we were wrong, both President Trump and President Biden, to take our troops out of Afghanistan. I think we should have stayed there. To maintain a presence to stand up the Afghanistan military. 250,000 strong. 5,000 troops behind them to keep them strong, I think that was a mistake,” Sen. Romney said. “The way it’s been pulled out has not been a great example of American capabilities. A matter of fact, it’s been a tragedy and in many respects, we’ve lost creditability around the world.”

In an interview with ABC4’s Cheif Political Correspondent Glen Mills, Senator Mike Lee says no man or woman who helped will be left behind.

“We are not leaving until we get our folks out. We have U.S. citizens on the ground, those people and including our military personal need to be brought out safely. And if that means that we can’t adhere rigidly to the arbitrary timeline set by the President, then so be it,” says Sen. Lee. “The safety of the American people and the safety of the men and women in uniform is a lot more important than complying with an arbitrary deadline.”

Governor Spencer Cox says those displaced Afghan refugees who helped Americans should come to Utah.

ABC4’s Jason Nguyen speaking with Senator Mitt Romney

ABC4’s Jason Nguyen asked Sen. Romney what kind of work he can do to make sure they arrive.

The Senator says, “I hope we recognize that those Afghan refugees are people who fight with us and helped us, and we want them very badly if they can get here to be able to come to our country and participate in our workforce.”

Sen. Romney says Afghans’ work as translators makes them more than qualified to contribute to Utah’s economy.

“The number one problem they have is finding enough workers. They would love to have some of these Afghans come here and be able to work in our community,” he says. “We bring in far more than 100,000 every month that come in illegally across our southern border, lets bring in these legal folks from Afghanistan who fought with us and provide them with the opportunities to make and employ here and contribute to our economy.”

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