Reid: Bergdahl Notification Controversy Is ‘Big Deal Over Nothing’
Posted at 1:41 p.m. on June 5, 2014
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed bipartisan congressional complaints about President Barack Obama’s decision not to provide the legally required 30-day notice to Congress before exchanging five Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
“Its a big deal over nothing,” Reid said Thursday when asked why he appeared to be the only member to have gotten a heads up the day before the swap. “The whole deal is, is it Friday or Saturday? What difference does it make?”
Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, wasn’t called until May 31, and has accused the White House of deliberately keeping the Bergdahl trade secret to avoid scrutiny from Congress.
Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has also sharply criticized the White House for not informing Congress about the Bergdahl swap.
But Reid said the president should not have waited.
“We all know the president had a very short period of time to make a decision. He made a decision to bring him home and I’m glad he did because in my opinion … every day he was there was a day closer to his death,” Reid said.
Obama said earlier Thursday that he would “make no apologies” for the deal and defended not telling Congress due to the fragility of the deal.
Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.
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