Rep. Steve Stockman says President Barack Obama's swap of five hardcore Taliban terrorists for an Army sergeant is proof positive the commander in chief has different values than most Americans.
"He has sympathies that are not, I don't think, traditional American values,'' Stockman, a Texas Republican and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"It's bizarre," he said Wednesday. "I mean, to release five people who swore their oath to murder Americans for some individual . . . who, by the way, walked off, according to some of his colleagues.''
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Last week, the Obama administration secretly brokered the trade of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban military leaders who were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.
Shortly after National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on Sunday that Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction,'' unconfirmed reports emerged that he had been captured by the Taliban after deserting his post.
"You've got [Defense Secretary Chuck] Hagel saying, hey, let's not make any snap judgments, when in fact they're the ones making the snap judgment giving away five terrorists to kill Americans for a guy who's platoon leader this morning said he considered him a traitor,'' Stockman said.
He called the swap a "pure political play" designed to promote the administration.
"I want to put something in context . . . When we passed a bill to delay Obamacare for a radical one year . . . [Obama] called [House Speaker] John Boehner a terrorist and would not negotiate with him,'' he said.
"But now we have terrorists we . . . released them into the mainstream and he negotiated with terrorists, so we have a president where left is right, right is left . . . He's got everything backwards, and we're supposed to sit here and drink the Kool-Aid.''
On another subject, Rep. Matt Salmon says a Marine veteran who has been in a Mexican prison on weapons charges is doing well.
The Arizona Republican said he was able to visit Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi on Saturday at el Hongo II prison in Tijuana and the 25-year-old seemed in good spirits. The congressman says he is confident Tahmooressi will be treated respectfully.
Tahmooressi was headed to dinner in San Ysidro, Calif., on March 31 when he mistakenly wound up at a border-crossing point in Tijuana. According to Tahmooressi, Mexican authorities found three legally owned guns in his truck.
Stockman joked about a possible way to secure the release of Tahmooressi.
"Maybe our suggestion is we should exchange Susan Rice for our military man in Mexico,'' Stockman quipped.
Stockman also criticized the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to curtail the coal industry — policies that, if implemented, could increase prices of electricity in some states by as much as 40 percent.
"Obama's . . . war on America continues, and the destruction of our industry,'' he said.
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