Carney: US Did Not Negotiate With Terrorists

Monday, 02 Jun 2014 12:03 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Departing White House press secretary Jay Carney denied that the Obama administration was negotiating with terrorists by handing over five Taliban prisoners for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

In an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN, Carney said that it was a prisoner exchange, not a hostage situation.

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"Why not just call this what it was," Cuomo said to Carney. "You negotiated with these terrorists because he is a prisoner of war, and you have this pledge of leaving no man or women behind?"

Carney replied: "The fact is he was held in an armed conflict with the Taliban. We were engaged in an armed conflict with the Taliban, and we have a history in this country of making sure that our prisoners of war are returned to us. He was not a hostage, he was a prisoner."

Carney said that Bergdahl’s health had deteriorated recently, which was the main reason that the United States acted quickly to get him out to help with his "physical and mental recovery."

He added, "We are thrilled that he’s back and will be returning home to his family. His parents have suffered for a long time because of his absence, and they are overjoyed that Bowe Bergdahl is coming home."

The freed Guantanamo Bay detainees will be held by the Qatar government for a year before being released. Carney said that the threat they pose in the future has been "sufficiently mitigated" because of travel restrictions placed on them.

President Barack Obama announced last week that Carney has resigned as the chief White House spokesman.

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