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The White House said Friday that constitutional authorities of the commander in chief trumped possible funding illegality in the transfer of five Taliban members in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
“The president has the constitutional responsibility to protect the lives of Americans abroad, and specifically to protect U.S. service members,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters in Edgartown, Mass., “It’s important for everyone here to understand that the GAO report expressly does not address the lawfulness of the administration’s actions as a matter of constitutional law.”
The Obama administration is pushing back as frustrated senators question the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Bergdahl could have been killed if word of the prisoner swap with the Taliban had leaked, a senior administration official told reporters, responding to lawmakers upset that President Barack Obama did not follow the law and notify Congress 30 days in advance.
President Barack Obama said Thursday he would “make no apologies” for freeing five Taliban detainees in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release.
In his strongest defense yet of the deal that has come under intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill, Obama said he wasn’t surprised by the controversy that has erupted over the circumstances surrounding the deal.
“Yeah, I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington. Right? That’s — that’s par for the course,” he said.
“But I’ll repeat what I said two days ago. We have a basic principle, we do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind. We had a prisoner of war who’s health had deteriorated, and we were deeply concerned about and we saw an opportunity and we seized it. And I make no apologies for that,” he said. Full story