With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Rep. Kline, defense secretary tangle over Taliban prisoner swap

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under President Obama Updated: June 11, 2014 - 6:56 PM

The risks to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl were growing as officials negotiated his release from Taliban captivity, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress on Wednesday in a public defense of the Obama administration's controversial prisoner swap.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Hagel faced tough questioning from lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. John Kline, who remain skeptical of the prisoner exchange.

“The United States did set a precedent, did break the policy of negotiating with terrorists,” Kline told Hagel during the hearing.

The decision to trade five Taliban leaders for the release of Bergdahl, who was held for five years, has come under intense criticism on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers were not notified of the deal in advance.

“Who specifically selected the particular detainees that were transferred?” Kline asked Hagel.

“We've had some tortuous legal responses to questions we're trying to get at ... we're just trying to find out the basics,” Kline later said.. “I hope you can see why there’s a lot of confusion here.”

Hagel described the negotiations for Bergdahl’s release as “imperfect” and “imprecise.”

“I know there are differences and I know there are questions and I get it,” Hagel said in response to Kline's questioning. “But we did get him back.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT