CNN’s Candy Crowley put national security adviser Susan Rice on defense on Sunday over the U.S. negotiation for the release of Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from the Taliban as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan on Saturday.
In exchange for the Bergdahl’s release, the U.S. authorized the release of five Guatanamo detainees, which has some Republican lawmakers questioning the administration’s decision to negotiate for Bergdahl’s release.
Crowley quizzed Rice on “State of the Union” about whether the U.S. negotiated with terrorists.
“Point blank, did the U.S. negotiate with terrorists for his release?” Crowley asked.
“Candy, what we did was ensure that, as always, the United States doesn’t leave a man or a woman on the battlefield,” Rice responded. “And in order to do this — it’s very important for folks to understand — if we got into a situation where we said, ‘Because of who has captured an American soldier on the battlefield, we will leave that person behind,’ we would be in a whole new era for the safety of our personnel and for the nature of our commitment to our men and women in uniform.”
Crowley continued to press Rice.
“I think the question now is, and you point to the kinds of warfare we’re having now, but no longer can it be said that the U.S. doesn’t negotiate with terrorists,” Crowley said.
Yet Rice insisted that the U.S. was presented with a new kind of situation with a prisoner of war.
“I wouldn’t put it that way, Candy. I wouldn’t say that at all,” Rice said about Crowley’s characterization that the U.S. negotiated with terrorists. “When we are in battles with terrorists, and the terrorists take an American prisoner, that prisoner is still a U.S. serviceman or woman. We still have a sacred obligation to bring that person back.”
Watch the video via CNN: