House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rodgers (R-MI) on Tuesday disputed President Barack Obama’s claim that he consulted with Congress for “quite some time” about the possibility of trading Guantanamo Bay detainees for a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan.
“You know, I guess you’d have to parse his words,” Rodgers said in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I don’t know what he means by ‘consulted Congress for some time.’ In 2011, they did come up and present a plan that included a prisoner transfer that was — in a bipartisan way — pushed back.”
“We hadn’t heard anything since on any details of any prisoner,” he added, with the exception of a “proof of life” video of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that the U.S. military obtained last December.
Rodgers said he and other members of Congress were first informed of the prisoner swap after it took place Saturday morning. In his defense of the trade, Obama said earlier Tuesday that he bypassed Congress to close the deal because he was “concerned about Sgt. Bergdahl’s health,” which Rodgers also disputed.
“Their rhetoric does not match the facts on the ground. This notion that is was an acute health care — yesterday we were informed it wasn’t acute, they had no information that it was acute,” he said. “I don’t know why you’d say that … everything that they’re saying, I don’t know if they understand that, but there are very clear fact trails here. And those fact trails will come out in the course of time.”
Image via MSNBC
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.