By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While the focus on Afghanistan continues to be the threat of another attack and the chaos outside the airport, the evacuation has continued.

So far more than 117,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan, including 5,400 Americans. A small number of refugees have already arrived in the U.S.

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips was one of the first members of Congress to tweet out that anyone having trouble with an evacuation could call his office, putting his office phone number on Twitter. He soon was getting desperate calls from around the country. Phillips, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is also one of the few Democratic members of Congress who has publicly voiced criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis. The congressman was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“We will assess very deeply what went wrong, hold those to account who should be, and ensure that we do better next time,” Phillips said.

The evacuation is supposed to wrap up on Tuesday.

Phillips says he now is forwarding calls for help from around the country to other members of Congress while his staff continues to handle calls for help from those with Minnesota ties.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 and 10:30 a.m.

Esme Murphy