Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Thursday disputed accusations that he changed his tune on prisoner exchanges and Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after the soldier was released from the Taliban.
In February, McCain told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he would be “inclined to support” a prisoner swap to bring Bergdahl home, but has since come out in opposition to the exchange for the soldier’s release.
On Thursday, McCain clarified that in February, he said his support for a prisoner swap depended on details.
“The details are unacceptable and for anyone to accuse me, therefore, of saying that I’d support any prisoner swap under any circumstances is lying,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“And the details are outrageous. They went to Qatar, where the Taliban has an office, and in a year they are going to be out and the deal is, like any other agreement, as I said, in the details,” McCain said on CNN, explaining his opposition to the swap. “I mean, it’s just totally unacceptable. These people would be back in the fight.”
In a statement released before his appearance on CNN, McCain’s communications director, Brian Rogers, accused the Obama administration of twisting his words.
“The Obama Administration is obviously having a difficult time defending this deal, and is desperate to discredit its critics on both sides of the aisle. But that doesn’t give the White House and their allies license to distort and selectively quote Senator McCain’s words,” Rogers said.