Politics

White House Defends Prisoner Swap in Tense Hill Meeting

Bowe Bergdahl
BURGESS EVERETT and MANU RAJU, Politico
WASHINGTON (Politico)—Senior Obama administration officials showed senators a private video of an ailing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to bolster their defense of a controversial deal to secure his release by swapping Taliban detainees — and leaving most of Congress in the dark.

But in a more than two-hour meeting, the administration failed to give lawmakers assurances that the five Taliban prisoners exchanged for Bergdahl would stay away from the battlefield, prompting bipartisan ire from senators as they left the tense classified briefing.

“Everybody is concerned about that,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “These are high-level people. This is not low level. … And these are people who basically have the ability to go back and hit the ground running.”

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