On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) has gone rogue to travel to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on a rescue mission, in the face of multiple warnings not to do so from the Pentagon and State Department — and that nobody knows where he is.
"Mullin told the [Tajik] embassy that he planned to fly from Tblisi, Georgia, into Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, in the next few hours and needed the top diplomat's help, according to the two U.S. officials familiar with the incident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose private conversations about a sensitive matter," reported Tayler Pager and John Hudson. "Embassy officials told Mullin they could not assist him in skirting Tajikistan's laws on cash limits on his way to visiting one of the most dangerous places on earth."
The Post's sources said that Mullin was "outraged by the response" and even threatened U.S. ambassador John Mark Pommersheim and embassy staff and "demanding to know the name of staff members he was speaking with."
According to the report, Mullin previously attempted to fly into Afghanistan through Greece, but was rebuffed by U.S. officials on that occasion as well.
Mullin's efforts to travel to Afghanistan come a week after Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI) also journeyed to Kabul to witness the rescue efforts and returned on a military flight, drawing criticism from congressional leaders. Unlike Moulton and Meijer, Mullin is not a veteran, with a pre-congressional career as a mixed martial artist instead.
"As of late Tuesday, U.S. officials said they were unsure of Mullin's location. Mullin's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment," said the report. "'To say this is extremely dangerous is a massive understatement,' said a State Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive situation."