Obama Says He 'Consulted with Congress' on Bergdahl Even After WH Apologizes for Not Doing So

June 3, 2014 - 7:28 PM

her in advance of a decision to release Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay.

Pres. Obama told reporters Tuesday that he had "consulted with Congress for quite some time" about the prospect of agreeing to a prisoner exchange to gain the release of Sergeant Bergdahl - a day after members of Congress say they got a call from the White House apologizing for not doing so.

In a press event in Warsaw, Poland, when asked about the five Taliban he released from Guantanamo Prison in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Pres. Obama said:

"We have consulted with Congress for quite some time about the possibility that we might need to execute a prisoner exchange in order to recover Sergeant Bergdahl."

But, that's not what congressmen are saying.

"The President never consulted with the Senate Armed Services Committee on the details of such an exchange while the senator has been ranking member," a spokesperson for Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) of the committee tells MRCTV.

Likewise, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) today rejected a reporter's claim that the White House said it kept Congress "in the loop" regarding the plan to negotiate a trade:

"The White House is wrong about that. I haven't had a conversation with the WH on this issue in a year and a half. Now, if that's keeping us in the loop, then this administration is more arrogant than I thought they were."

"The president says he kept Congress informed and, as I just told Joe, that's simply not the case."

Sen. Chambliss says he even got a call from the White House Monday night (a day before Obama's Warsaw claim) apologizing for its failure to give him advanced notice:

"I got a phone call last night apologizing for not giving us advanced warning. It was from a high-level WH individual. They say it had just been called to their attention that I had not received advanced notification of this transaction taking place."

The Hill reports that the leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee also got an apology phone call from the White House:

"The White House has apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for failing to alert her in advance of a decision to release Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay."