June 11th, 2014
10:55 AM ET
3 months ago

Hagel defends Bergdahl deal in House testimony

(CNN) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel returned to Congress on Wednesday to defend the deal that resulted in the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying the agreement to release five Afghan detainees was "fully consistent with U.S. law, our nation's interests and our military's core values."

"The President's decision to move forward with the transfer of these detainees was a tough call. I supported it, I stand by it," the former lawmaker told the House Armed Services Committee.

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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • Chuck Hagel
Was Rand Paul's red meat joke a bit too raw?
June 10th, 2014
02:48 PM ET
3 months ago

Was Rand Paul's red meat joke a bit too raw?

Washington (CNN) – More than any other Republican lawmaker, Sen. Rand Paul has aggressively gone after nontraditional GOP voters in the past year, trying to lure Democrats and independents into his party's column as he considers a presidential bid.

So it seemed odd last week when the libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky made a partisan joke about the prisoner swap that secured U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release.

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Filed under: 2016 • Bowe Bergdahl • Rand Paul
June 10th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
3 months ago

Boehner: Americans could die because of Bergdahl swap

Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner predicted Americans would die because of the swap of five Taliban detainees in exchange for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"We are going to pay for this. There is not any doubt in my mind that there are going to be costs, lost lives associated with what came out of this," Boehner told reporters Tuesday in his first public comments since the administration announced the deal.
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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • John Boehner
June 10th, 2014
11:08 AM ET
3 months ago

Polls: Plurality disapprove of Bergdahl swap for Taliban prisoners

Washington (CNN) - More Americans disapprove than approve of the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban prisoners, according to two new national polls.

And the surveys indicate a wide partisan divide over the controversial deal, with most Republicans giving the exchange a thumbs down and a majority of Democrats approving of the swap.

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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • Polls
June 8th, 2014
04:37 PM ET
3 months ago

U.S. official: Sgt. Bergdahl wants to be called private first class

(CNN) - U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was promoted while held prisoner by the Taliban, said he wants to be recognized by his old rank, according to a senior U.S. official.

"In his mind, he's a Pfc," the official told CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr on Sunday.

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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl
June 8th, 2014
04:33 PM ET
3 months ago

Political Chatter: Kerry defends prisoner transfer, but lawmakers remain skeptical

In an interview that aired Sunday on CNN, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the transfer of five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but even a leading Democratic senator raised questions about the administration’s handling of the case.

Nearly five years after he disappeared in Afghanistan, Bergdahl has ignited a political controversy, with some members of Congress in an uproar over the terms of his release by the Taliban and the secrecy surrounding it.

We’ll get you up to speed on the latest in Washington with a roundup of all things political:

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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.

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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • Dianne Feinstein • Intelligence
June 8th, 2014
12:09 PM ET
3 months ago

Marine general: Taliban worse off after Bergdahl swap

Washington (CNN) - While most in Washington fret about the potential return of five former Guantanamo detainees to the front lines in Afghanistan, the former head of U.S. operations in the war-torn country says the Taliban is now worse off after the swap for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, the former chief of the U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that President Barack Obama's decision to trade five Taliban hardliners for Bergdahl should give the United States military more latitude to combat the Taliban.

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June 8th, 2014
10:19 AM ET
3 months ago

Kerry defends Bergdahl swap

(CNN) - In his first public comments on the issue, Secretary of State John Kerry was unequivocal when discussing the Obama administration's commitment to monitoring the five Taliban figures exchanged for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"I'm not telling you that they don't have some ability at some point” to return to fighting, Kerry said in an interview that aired Sunday. "But they also have an ability to get killed doing that. And I don't think anybody should doubt the capacity of the United States of America to protect Americans."

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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • John Kerry • Obama administration
June 5th, 2014
08:46 AM ET
3 months ago

Bergdahl backlash surprises White House

Updated 10:35 a.m. ET, 6/5/2014

Brussels, Belgium (CNN) - White House officials expected controversy when the deal was announced to free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the release of five Taliban detainees from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Despite the feel-good moment in the White House Rose Garden featuring President Obama and Bergdahl's beaming parents last Saturday, the five-for-one trade was sure to create an uproar, a White House official acknowledged.

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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • President Obama