The release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was detained by the Taliban for nearly five years, included a heavy dose of partisan politics Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after he was securely in American hands.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice was once again in the line of fire on the political talk shows, just as she was after the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
Bergdahl’s release has ignited the debate over negotiating with groups the United States has determined to be terrorists.
CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.
1. THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION FLASHPOINT
The Veterans Affairs crisis ended this week in the resignation of General Shinseki, but Steve Inskeep of NPR says the next agency to come under scrutiny might be Homeland Security.
Nashville, Tennessee (CNN) – Chris Christie sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s management of the Veterans Affairs scandal on Friday, calling the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “long overdue.”
“I wish that the President had been more aggressive since minute one to go in and fix it himself, because what’s happened there is a disgrace,” Christie said in a brief interview on Friday, hours after Shinseki met with the President and stepped down from his post.
Washington (CNN) - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is gone, but the VA scandal isn't going anywhere.
The big political question now is whether the controversy will continue to have an impact on this year's midterm elections as it has the past few weeks.
(CNN) - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned, President Barack Obama said on Friday. Obama said he would demand accountability if problems were found at VA medical facilities, and accepted Shinseki's resignation. The two met at the White House before the President announced the the development, which came as political pressure mounted for the Cabinet officer to step down.
"I regret he has to resign under these circumstances," Obama said.
(CNN) - Major veterans’ groups this Memorial Day weekend harshly criticized the top Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee after he charged that the leaders of the service organizations are too cozy with embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and won’t call for him to resign despite allegations of mismanagement and wrongdoing in his department.
Sen. Richard Burr accused them of being “more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members.”
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Jake Tapper that the scandal surrounding the VA involving delayed care for several veterans in need is upsetting.
"It makes me sick to my stomach," Hagel said. "Because it is a clear responsibility we have as a country, as a people, to take care of these men and women and their families who sacrificed so much."
(CNN) - Congressional chairmen of the House and Senate veterans affairs committees are still backing embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, for now, amid a growing chorus of lawmakers calling for his resignation over the scandal that's rocked the agency.
Rep. Jeff Miller, a Republican from Florida and chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday that the issues with the VA are "much larger than the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs."
(CNN) - President Barack Obama alluded to the growing scandal unfolding within the Veteran Affairs Department in his weekly address, acknowledging the agency's crippling shortfalls in providing health care.
"In recent weeks, we’ve seen again how much more our nation has to do to make sure all our veterans get the care they deserve," he said in a White House video released Saturday that coincided with the Memorial Day weekend.
(CNN) - Former Veterans Affairs chief Jim Nicholson said President Barack Obama is "not taking responsibility" for the ongoing scandal that has rocked the agency under his administration's watch.
In an interview on Friday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Nicholson also hit back at Obama’s sharp criticism of his tenure leading the VA, calling into question the former senator’s commitment to the cause when he severed on the Veterans Affairs Committee.
"He was on the committee but he never showed up," Nicholson said, appearing on "The Situation Room."