Feinstein: Congress can keep the lid on secrets
June 8th, 2014
01:16 PM ET
3 months ago

Feinstein: Congress can keep the lid on secrets

Washington (CNN) - We can keep your secrets just fine, Mr. President.

That's the message Sen. Dianne Feinstein conveyed to reporters Sunday, responding to questions about whether President Barack Obama's decision not to inform Congress about swapping five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had any merit.

In explaining his decision, Obama said the exchange "required no publicity," implying that the legislative branch couldn't be trusted with word of an impending deal to recover Bergdahl, whom the Taliban had held since 2009.

The National Defense Authorization Act requires the administration to provide 30 days' advance notice to Congress of a transfer of Guantanamo detainees.

"We're briefed all the time on operations one way or the other," Feinstein said. "We keep to ourselves."

She added, "There are no leaks."

Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, also expressed doubts about the administration's assertion that Bergdahl's life would have been put in danger had news of the deal gone public. Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, told CNN last week that defense officials informed senators during a classified briefing that "there was a reasonable chance Bowe Bergdahl would have been killed" had the negotiations leaked.

Feinstein said she was not aware of any evidence indicating such a possibility. “I've heard of none," she said. "I'll put it that way."

The White House also justified its move by saying Bergdahl's health was rapidly declining. Senators were shown a video of Bergdahl, which the administration has said shows the soldier's deteriorating condition. Those who attended the briefing left with mixed opinions, with some saying Bergdahl looked sick while others speculated he was drugged.

Feinstein, however, said Bergdahl’s improvement since his May 31 handover to American forces and subsequent hospitalization at a U.S. military facility in Germany leads her to believe his condition was not life-threatening.

"I think his rapid recovery, which seems to be happening, which I'm grateful (for), indicates that perhaps he wasn't close to death," she said.


Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • Dianne Feinstein • Intelligence
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. rs

    With all due respect Madame Senator, the GOP members of Congress are unable to keep fact and fiction straight- in their urgency to attack the President and their government, they'd do anything.

    June 8, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. anniebella

    Sure Congress can keep a secret, that is why Sen Feinstein have been on show after show running her mouth.

    June 8, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    .Would I trust this congress with my or a member of my families life. Hmmmmmm, and their approval rating is barely above single digits. I don't think so.

    June 8, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Name. willard

    Obama should be impeachment right but i said no excuse him for 5 year

    June 8, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    The secret.......is an excuse for not telling Congress, because Congress would NOT approve. It is nothing but a lie.

    June 8, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Thomas

    This sounds like a reason to have a special oversight comity led by Darrell Issa . who need to get to bottom of this ASAP !

    Rick Perry / Darrell Issa 2016
    The suit makes the man !

    June 8, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    You would have to convince MOST of the country of that, most of the GOP house is totally INCOMPETENT and should be in JAIL for SEDITiON and BRIBERY . Obama should keep anything that is military with men in the field SECRET until AFTER the fact.

    June 8, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    After 6 years of putting party before country and trying to sabotage everything the President has done – regardless of the negative consequences to our nation – I trust the gop/tea bags as far as I can throw them.

    June 8, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Name. willard

    Keep out of presdient obama also. He was nothing for 5 year right

    June 8, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. GonzoinHouston

    Bravo Sierra!

    June 8, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Not with this teaklan congress.

    June 8, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. jcoake

    Feinstein probably can be trusted but there isn't one Republican that can be trusted to keep anything secret that they can use for their ongoing political obstruction.

    June 8, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. MaryM

    That's are joke. Everyone remembers the R-congressman during the ISSA Benghazi hearings Outing the CIA and the outpost in Benghazi. No, the Republicans Can Not be trusted!! They would leak the info Just to get President Obama.

    Just look at what they, the republicans and fox news, are doing to Stg Bergahls family.

    June 8, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Hillary Clinton: Butcher of Benghazi - BAD CHOICE

    Obama just keeps on doubling down on the lies. They have already told numerous lies about Bergdahl's health, etc. They didn't notify or involve Congress as law requires because they knew they had no support for this disaster. Absolutely NOBODY wanted to exchange the top 5 Tabliban at Gitmo for this alleged deserter, let alone while we were still engaged in a shooting war with the Taliban.

    Obama is just hell bent on hurting and destroying this country and its military any way he can. It is very quickly approaching impeachment time because of his lawless behavior, and now aiding our enemy during war time.

    June 8, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. steve

    NO they can not!!

    June 8, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "She added, "There are no leaks."

    Isn't she the lady who was just complaining someone hacked into her SIC account recently and deleted information she'd been accumulating?

    June 8, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. Tim

    Just another reason Obama is the Country Idiot..And liberals still love him. LOL..

    June 8, 2014 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. ED1

    I don't think so just like Obama does.

    June 8, 2014 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Congress and those who pretend to care about us, the public, may have at one time been able to keep secrets. Today maybe not. They'd sell out their grandmother to slave traders if they thought they'd prosper by the action.

    June 8, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  20. JohnN

    If Congress is able to keep secrets explain why the SEAL team that killed Osama was exposed by a member of Congress when it was supposed to be a secret? Congressional members leak secrets will the time for power, even when doing so will screw things up, sometimes secrets are leaked just to screw things up.

    June 8, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. J.V.Hodgson

    If the lady or gentle man posting under the heading of "Hillary Clinton: butcher of Benghazi" passes you terms of service.
    You need to re-write them this is not lively, and certainly not courteous, and if it passes your " rules of conduct" I beg to differ in the strongest possible terms.
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    June 8, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Feinstein, I'm sorry too many secrets are leaked by unidentified sources; you all can not be trusted.

    June 9, 2014 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  23. A Republican supporter of President Obama

    Sorry but I do not trust congress to do the right thing given the circumstances. The GOP members would run to the nearest hot mike or call Fox News to leak the information in another attempt to derail the current administration. Our President made the right call.....end of story.

    June 9, 2014 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  24. tony

    that only proves that to american their president is always a liar. when he is caught he find another lie to cover up. why he not came out to tell the truth. first he said cuz his health but when the people questioned himhe changed to the leaking. what is a joke?

    June 9, 2014 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  25. Lily

    Feinstein should understand that no one can trust those with Approval Rating of 13%. This rating doesn't come from nowhere. It is all about doing nothing including being untrustworthy.

    June 9, 2014 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
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