Congressional Trust Is Collateral Damage in Bergdahl Swap

“The president has responsibility here as well,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said May 22. “When he continues to ignore ‘Obamacare,’ his own law, 38 unilateral delays, he reduces the confidence of the American people in his willingness to implement an immigration law the way we would pass it. So the president has to rebuild this trust if we're going to be able to do this.”

After the Bergdahl swap, an aide to the speaker reiterated the trust gap that divides Pennsylvania Avenue continues to grow.

“Clearly, the president’s own action on a range of issues continue to undermine the American peoples trust in him,” Boehner press secretary Michael Steel said.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who served as chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee from 2011 to 2013, confirmed that she attended the Nov. 30, 2011 and Jan. 31, 2012 interagency briefings when the deal was brought to select senior members of Congress, and said that the group made explicitly clear to administration officials that they were opposed to any deal for Bergdahl that would “benefit the Taliban or jeopardize the safety and security” of servicemen and women, and the country’s national security interests.

“There are many lingering questions about the manner in which he was first captured and what he has been doing since,” Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., wrote in a statement. “The White House has plenty of questions that it must answer, not just to Congress or the American people, but to our men and women in uniform whose security may now be compromised.”

McKeon has called for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to testify at his committee on June 11. The Pentagon confirmed Hagel will appear at the hearing in open session to answer questions about the exchange.

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