OAN’s Daniel Baldwin
12:50 PM – Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Publicist Erica Knight had no experience helping evacuate American citizens from war-torn countries.
“Knowing what to do was sort of kind of unknown to me at the time,” Erica Knight told One America News. “But I said, ‘Okay, we’re going to get you out of there now. I’m just going to figure it out.’ And that’s exactly what we did.”
But that is the exact predicament she found herself in when her co-worker, Silver Point, sent her a message that she was trapped in Israel with no way home earlier in October.
“I had been to Israel before,” Silver Prout said. “We went downward along the Gaza Strip. Israel’s no stranger to threats and attacks, but in my heart of hearts, I knew this was different.”
Prout was in Israel on vacation with a tour company called Trans-Global Travel when the terror group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel. Prout reached out to Knight and U.S. House of Representatives candidate Abe Hamadeh for help.
“[Hamadeh] was very clear,” Knight said. “He was an intelligence officer in Saudi Arabia for a long time. He served under Trump and Biden. And so he said, you need to go.”
Prout says the State Department was radio silent for three straight days.
“The attacks happened,” Prout said. “The State Department was closed Saturday. Sunday, they were closed. And then Monday, it’s a U.S. holiday. So again, we got an out of office message that they would be back.”
Prout says her group got in contact with the State Department the Tuesday following the surprise attacks from Hamas, but the department recommended they “work with an airline” to get home safely.
“My question was, ‘Well, how,’” Prout said. “‘Like all of our flights keep getting canceled.’ And we see obviously Iceland, Brazil, and the initial reports that they were getting their citizens out. And my response was the United States of America should have been the first one on the ground to start evacuating their citizens the moment this happened. And now they’re one of the last.”
“While the State Department has initiated evacuation flights, there is one important caveat to that,” Prout said. “You have to sign on the dotted line that you will pay the United States government back before they evacuate you, which is crazy to me. I don’t remember us asking Ukraine to sign a promissory note, and we have given them billions. So why are we asking United States citizens, who are stuck in a war zone, to please pay the United States government back before we can get help?”
But Knight sprung into action, enlisting the help of her friends in media publications to get the word out about Prout and her group.
“We were really just trying to put pressure on the [Biden Administration], because, in my experience, sometimes you can do these things and use the media to get the government to actually act. And that was sort of our frustration at the time. Other countries were rescuing their citizens and [our government was] doing nothing.”
Knight says that Florida Representative Cory Mills (R-Fla.) had seen the story and was on his way to Israel. Mills picked up her and numerous other Americans on that trip.
“When this administration fails, it’s people like my friend Erica,” Prout said. “It’s people like Congressman Mills. They step up to bat. They do what needs to be done, and they do what this administration has failed to do, which is help American citizens.”
“I never really thought in my wildest dreams that a Florida Congressman would see these stories and start going to actually rescue people himself,” Knight said. “Obviously now we’ve seen that Cory Mills is quite a brave and patriotic American that is willing to do that.”
At the end of the day, Prout was grateful to be home and safe. And she says that wouldn’t have happened without Knight and Mills.
“Thank God for them,” Prout said.
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