Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld resigned on Friday over her handling of the Afghan evacuation crisis in a widening scandal that has also claimed the job of the foreign minister.
Bijleveld had originally refused to quit but finally bowed to pressure after parliament formally censured her over a debacle that has left dozens of interpreters stranded in Afghanistan.
"I informed my party and prime minister that I will ask the king to receive my resignation," Bijleveld told reporters at the defence ministry, referring to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
"I don't want to get in the way of the important work" of her colleagues who are still trying to get people out of Afghanistan, she added.
Dutch foreign minister Sigrid Kaag resigned on Thursday after she too was condemned by parliament over the government's failure to evacuate some Afghans, and for missing signs of an imminent Taliban takeover.
Kaag resigned immediately after motions of disapproval against both ministers were adopted. She defended her handling of the crisis but admitted the government had some "blind spots" about the situation that the Netherlands shared with other countries.
Bijleveld at first said she would remain, but reconsidered a day later following heavy criticism from members of her own Christian Democrats party.
The Dutch ministers are some of the first Western officials to quit and take responsibility for the chaos between the Taliban's takeover of Kabul on August 15 and the pullout of US forces on August 31.
Their resignations come after Britain's Dominic Raab was demoted from his position as foreign minister over the way he dealt with the situation in Afghanistan.
However the impact on the Dutch political system could be limited as the current cabinet is a caretaker administration, with the country still waiting for talks to produce a new coalition government six months after elections.
Bijleveld is the sixth minister to leave office since Rutte's government was brought down by a childcare subsidies scandal in January.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
In the wake Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez's decision to retire, former president Donald Trump is doubling down in support of a former aide with a dark criminal past who's running for the Ohio congressional seat in 2022.
In a statement Friday morning, Trump attacked Gonzalez, who called the former president a "cancer for the country" after opting not to seek re-election.
"RINO Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, who has poorly represented his district in the Great State of Ohio, has decided to quit after enduring a tremendous loss of popularity, of which he had little, since his ill-informed and otherwise very stupid impeachment vote against the sitting President of the United States, me," Trump said in the statement from his Save America PAC.
Trump then proceeded to reiterate his endorsement of GOP candidate Max Miller, who has been described as a "poster child" for the former president's impeachment revenge tour, and has a dark history marred by allegations of anger problems, assaulting women, drunken driving, and other offenses.
"This is no loss for Ohio or our Country and, most importantly, we have a great candidate who was substantially leading Gonzalez in the polls, Max Miller, who I have given my Complete and Total Endorsement," Trump said in his statement. "Max is a tremendous person who will represent Ohio well."
Politico reported in July that Miller's romantic relationship with former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham ended last year after he "pushed her against a wall and slapped her in the face in his Washington apartment after she accused him of cheating on her," according to people familiar with the incident.
Through an attorney, Miller denied the allegations, but it wasn't the first time he's been accused of assaulting someone of the opposite sex.
"Ranging from people who grew up with Miller in the affluent Cleveland inner suburb of Shaker Heights to those he worked with and for in the White House and on Trump's campaigns—some of whom were granted anonymity because they fear retaliation from Miller, Trump or both—these people told me Miller can be a cocky bully with a quick-trigger temper," Politico reported. "He has a record of speeding, underage drinking and disorderly conduct—documented charges from multiple jurisdictions that include a previously unreported charge in 2011 for driving under the influence that he subsequently pleaded down to a more minor offense."
In high school, "Miller pushed a girl out the door of his room and she fell down some stairs after he became enraged when she resisted his attempts to touch her, according to three people who were there and many more who heard about the incident in the aftermath," according to Politico.
In 2010, Miller needed surgery — with a tourniquet applied to his arm by a responding officer — after he punched through a glass door during an argument outside a hookah bar. In 2011, he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after he crashed his car into a light pole at Miami University — at 8:55 in the morning. Miller told a responding officer he'd had "two to three beers and several shots" the night before and "woke up in urine-soaked pants," according to a report.
Former RNC official waves the red flag after 'deeply ominous' retirement of Ohio lawmaker who voted to impeach Trump
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the JAn. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, will not seek reelection in 2022. Writing in The Bulwark this Friday, former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller contends that Gonzalez's retirement is a "deeply ominous sign for our politics."
"It might be a Trump era cliché to say that 'this is not normal' but a 36-year-old congressman in his second term doesn't just retire. That is the start of one's career, not the finish. Moreover, a 36-year-old Republican congressman sure as shit doesn't retire because he is scared Republican voters might hurt his family," Miller writes. "That is not normal. At all. It is a flashing siren about just how dangerous the Republican party has become."
Despite his perfect down-the-line voting record, the backlash to his vote later turned into harassment that was so harsh that he decided to resign. "It resulted in a primary from Max Miller, a douchey trust-fund baby who worked for Trump and allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and colleague, Stephanie Grisham," Miller writes. "Unlike Gonzalez, Miller was no athletic hero. He had no record of accomplishment, though he does have a rap sheet. He had no coherent policy critique of Gonzalez. The primary was to be solely a referendum over whether voters of the district wanted their representative to be a Trump toady even if it means overthrowing American democracy."
Speaking to The New York Times this week, Gonzalez said he no longer wants to have his family "escorted through the airport" by security or receive threats from people saying "we're coming to your house."
As Miller points out, Gonzalez isn't the first Republican to step aside over potential violence.
"Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, who stood his ground during Trump's phony attempts to contest the Georgia election, recently told me that he also had a disturbing realization one day, as he looked out at the security protecting him, about how the threats targeting him and his family were coming from inside the GOP tent. Duncan announced back in May that he wouldn't run again."
Read the full column over at The Bulwark.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month