Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2014

Boehner: White House Explanation for Bergdahl Secrecy ‘Just Not True’

Boehner 17 011614 1 445x295 Boehner: White House Explanation for Bergdahl Secrecy Just Not True

Boehner said Tuesday the administration’s explanation on Bergdahl is “just not true.”  (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio cast doubt Tuesday on the administration’s claim that it did not inform members of Congress about the prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl due to a fear of leaks, and said the swap will lead to consequences.

“The biggest issue here is a violation of a policy that the United States has had for many, many years that we don’t negotiate with terrorists,” he said. “The fact is we have violated that policy and as a result, this made America less safe, here and all around the world. And we’re going to pay for it. There is not any doubt in my mind there are going to be costs … lost lives, associated with what came out of this.”

Boehner said he and several other members of Congress were briefed multiple times in the run up to the special forces raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

“Six times before Osama bin Laden was taken down I was briefed on it. I was briefed multiple times over the course of the six months. I was given a heads up several days before it happened. So this idea that they couldn’t trust us with not leaking anything, it’s just not true,” Boehner told reporters.

Boehner is a member of a group of eight congressional leaders and intelligence committee heads who are routinely briefed on classified matters. But he said he was never given specifics about the trade, which freed five Taliban prisoners from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Bergdahl.

“I was never briefed about a 5-to-1 swap, nor were there any names. There was a discussion several years ago about efforts to get Bergdahl back, and we’re glad that he’s back. But I was never briefed on any specific negotiations,” he said.

Boehner comments come a day after a classified briefing, which left Republicans fuming.

  • Brenda Huddleston

    Mr. Boehner, if you do anything else that this President wants, you are not very bright. Don’t buy into the Bi-Partisan stuff they throw out when it makes them look better. He has proven over and over that he has an agenda that has nothing to do with what is good and right for America. He needs to be impeached now and you should be forcing that issue.

    • Layla

      Good comments, Brenda. However, don’t hold your breath with regards to Boehner or anyone in Congress impeaching this President.

      His is, after all the first black President. What kind of precedent would that set, and at election time! Instead, Congress would rather pander to the thousands of illegals streaming across our borders.

      Can’t wait until we have the first woman President and she won’t be held accountable either.

      • Brenda Huddleston

        Thanks for the comments Layla. The precedent it should set is that we don’t care what color or gender the person is, but when given the job, they must actually do the job. Wouldn’t that be a nice world!

    • fare_thee_well_obama

      An impeachment proceeding plays right into Obama’s hands. First – he gets to play the victim card, followed by the race card. Plus, even if impeached, what is your plan for when the trial moves to that soul sucking troll Harry Reid’s Senate. No. We cannot afford the distraction. Mission one right now is focusing on the 2014 election and relegating Harry Reid to minority leader status. Then with majorities in the two chambers make sure Obama has nothing better to do than whittle on a piece of wood until his time is up.

      • Brenda Huddleston

        While I do understand and agree that we don’t need that distraction, I am just so tired of watching people get by with the lies and destruction of our great country. I resent allowing them to threaten common sense with the race card. November cannot come soon enough!

        • fare_thee_well_obama

          I agree with you. It is hard to read the paper each day. However, this has to be about actually winning elections. In that regard, Republicans have been wonderfully effective at shooting themselves in the foot.

    • aftermidnight

      What should Obama be impeached for…or doesn’t it matter. I realize that conservatives don’t have or need reasons, but when you get this sort of thing in front of the House and then the Senate, someone out there might be curious.

  • fare_thee_well_obama

    Why would anybody be surprised that President Obama plays “fast and furious” with the truth? Congressman Joe Wilson ate a lot of garbage for yelling out “you lie” to the POTUS, but other than an etiquette breach – Congressman Wilson was spot on about the POTUS bad relationship with the truth.

    • Brenda Huddleston

      Yes, it appears Wilson deserves an apology. What’s an etiquette breach compared to what this president and his staff have done?

      • fare_thee_well_obama

        totally agree. he was denigrated for telling the truth about the president lying. the breach though was that you do not call the President a liar by shouting out liar. Look at what Boehner said “just not true”. He found another way short of yelling out liar!!!

  • Tater

    So….in the briefing, did they get ALL of the details of the swap? I still have questions, like; how much cash did we fork over in addition to the 5 Taliban, what types of control do the Qatari’s actually have, what are the penalties if anyone is caught reneging, and how likely are we to drone them at the first sign of trouble? Enquiring minds want to know.

  • Mike CJ

    So many things are going so badly so quickly, that it doesn’t matter anymore what Obama does. He is toast and will toast all Democrats in Nov.

    Lying is the only thing they have left.

  • dave

    No impeachment. Arrest the traitor barry.

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