Megyn Kelly Grills Jen Psaki: 'Was Bergdahl Swap Worth It?'
Megyn Kelly tonight grilled State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki on whether it was worth it to trade five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was charged today with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
“The Kelly File” host noted that three of the five detainees in the swap are reportedly trying to return to terror. She said that people are asking, “Was it worth it?”
Psaki said that the trade was “absolutely” worth it.
“We have a commitment to our men and women serving […] in our military, defending our national security every day, that we will do everything we can to bring them home, and that’s what we did in this case,” she said.
But Kelly remarked that there were other means of bringing Bergdahl home.
Psaki said that there are always a range of tough decisions that President Barack Obama has to make.
“It doesn’t reach his desk unless it was a tough decision,” she said. “That was certainly the case here.”
“It was a tough decision, but was it the right decision?” Kelly pressed. She noted that the U.S. may have been able to bring Bergdahl home in other ways, and remarked that he betrayed his country, according to the Army.
Psaki reiterated that the U.S. has long committed to bringing its military members home. She also stressed that the U.S. is tracking the freed Gitmo detainees and that officials are aware of their reported online communication with people they shouldn’t be engaging with.
Kelly asked Psaki about the fact that the supervision of these five Taliban commanders in Qatar is supposed to end in two months, remarking that it “doesn’t seem like a good idea.” Kelly also called the Bergdahl swap “an effort to get these guys out of Gitmo,” noting that Obama wants Gitmo closed. She added that the “best way” to monitor these men would have been to keep them behind bars.
“The Kelly File” host questioned whether Obama knew when he agreed to the prisoner swap that Bergdahl was a potential deserter.
“We are familiar with his background and the circumstances,” Psaki said.
Kelly questioned why there was so much “pomp and circumstance and trying to celebrate this man” when Bergdahl was freed. She also referenced Susan Rice’s declaration at the time of Bergdahl’s release that he served with “honor and distinction.”
“Do you think that he served with honor and distinction?” Kelly pressed. “Did Susan Rice have it right?”
“Look, I think that we look at Sgt. Bergdahl as somebody who served his country, as many men and women have,” Psaki said.