Did Hillary know about the Bergdahl swap last week?

posted at 8:41 am on June 3, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, the White House caused a stir among the press corps by failing to announce that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had met for a private lunch. Reporters began questioning the White House after People Magazine tweeted about the Thursday lunch meeting, which was not part of the public presidential schedule. People Magazine deleted the tweet, but the White House finally confirmed that “The president enjoyed an informal, private lunch with Secretary Clinton at the White House this afternoon” later in the day.

Now Republicans are wondering just how informal that lunch was. Obama and the White House failed to notify Congress of the release of five high-value Taliban detainees in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl until Monday despite statutory requirements for 30 days’ notice, although the White House managed to get Bergdahl’s parents to the Rose Garden by Saturday. Did Obama tell Hillary Clinton about the trade on Thursday?

Republicans are raising questions about whether Hillary Clinton knew about the White House plan to release senior Taliban commanders in exchange for the last U.S. prisoner of war.

President Obama met with his former secretary of State for lunch on Thursday, two days before it was announced that Bowe Bergdahl had been released from captivity in exchange for five high-profile Taliban prisoners.

Republicans are furious that they were not told of the deal in advance, and argue that this broke U.S. law.

They are also suspicious that Obama may have informed Clinton, the likely Democratic frontrunner for the White House in 2016.

The White House has said it will not give a read out of Obama’s lunch with Clinton, calling it a private event.

But that has only made Republicans more curious about the timing between the lunch, and the controversial prisoner swap.

Hillary waited long enough to support the swap, if true. She announced her support last night on the same basis Obama argued this morning — that we take of our citizens abroad (via Allahpundit):

“This young man, whatever the circumstances, was an American citizen — is an American citizen — was serving in our military,” Clinton said in response to a question about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, whose release was announced Saturday.

“The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one.”

Put that in the context of Benghazi.

Jake Tapper thinks the question is “definitely” worth asking:

On one hand, it seems a bit of a stretch. Hillary and Obama learned to get along, but at least in public they never seemed like confidantes. On the other hand, that raises the question about the purpose of the lunch in the first place, and the timing appears at least … curious.

If Congress wants to pursue the case about notification, this certainly would be one avenue to pursue, but the more obvious one is the Bergdahls’ presence for the Saturday announcement. Obama managed to get them to the White House, but no one could pick up a phone to talk to Buck McKeon and Mike Rodgers? Come on, man.


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Someone should check around the Bergdahls’ hometown to find out when they left.

Wethal on June 3, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Did Hillary know about the Bergdahl swap last week?

Was her concussion real?
Is she having that ringing between her ears like Obama claimed to have?

Electrongod on June 3, 2014 at 8:44 AM

“What difference at this point does it make?!”

NavyMustang on June 3, 2014 at 8:46 AM

I think we’re giving them too much credit.

apostic on June 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Obama managed to get them to the White House, but no one could pick up a phone to talk to Buck McKeon and Mike Rodgers? Come on, man.

Hey, Obama’s a busy man. He doesn’t have time to call everyone. I mean, aside from gay NBA scrubs.

Doughboy on June 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I see that Hillary has gone on the record supporting the swap of 5 terrorists for Bergdahl. I’m actually a little surprised. She doesn’t know what is going to come out or what could happen between now and 2016. At the latest, the Taliban jihadists will be back causing mayhem and likely murder by this time next Summer. She had better hope that they aren’t involved in any terrorist or ethnic cleansing activities. And, she had better especially hope that no Americans are harmed as a result of this deal and the precedent it has set.

Of course, she can always send out Tommy Vietor to remind people:

‘Dude, that was, like, um, soooo 2014. So, what difference, at this point, does it make?’

Resist We Much on June 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM

SMH

cmsinaz on June 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM

“#Bergdahl could have just been a guy out for a walk who decided to join the Taliban. What difference, at this point, does it make?” —HRC

PunditPete on June 3, 2014 at 8:51 AM

#Berdahzi???

Resist We Much on June 3, 2014 at 8:51 AM

That should’ve been: #Bergdahzi

Resist We Much on June 3, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Obama and the White House failed to…

Obama has failed to obey the law (and just failed in general) many times and there have been essentially no consequences. To him personally. I do not expect there to be any this time either.

Fenris on June 3, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Sometime after midnight on June 30, 2009, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life. He slipped off the remote military outpost in Paktika Province on the border with Pakistan and took with him a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook and writing materials, but left behind his body armor and weapons — startling, given the hostile environment around his outpost.

NYTimes

They had evidence he was a possible deserter from day one. And Hillary, as SoS, probably knew this all along.

Wethal on June 3, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I think it’s become obvious at this point that every man and woman in uniform who has taken the oath are obligated to place this piece of filth under arrest.

ConstantineXI on June 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM

They had evidence he was a possible deserter from day one. And Hillary, as SoS, probably knew this all along.

Wethal on June 3, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Also, apparently, he left with his cellphone, which he used to contact his commander the next day to inform him that he would not be returning.

Of course, none of this matters. Hillary and Obama knew that a youtube video was not the cause of the attack in Benghazi from Day One.

Resist We Much on June 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Maybe she was giving him pointers on how to dodge sniper fire.

Flange on June 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Republicans are raising questions about whether Hillary Clinton knew about the White House plan to release senior Taliban commanders in exchange for the last U.S. prisoner of war.

If the rat-eared wonder told the pig-in-a-pantsuit last week but didn’t bother to inform Congress until yesterday after it was a done deal…….. well, that’s even more impeachable.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Of course, none of this matters. Hillary and Obama knew that a youtube video was not the cause of the attack in Benghazi from Day One.

Resist We Much on June 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Nope
^^

bazil9 on June 3, 2014 at 9:03 AM

State Dept Flunky: Ma’am, we are receiving reports from Benghazi that our consulate there is under attack. Early indications are that this is a well-coordinated attack, and that the attackers are likely associated with AQ. Dozens of American personnel are trapped in the consulate. Shall I contact the Pentagon and request a rescue attempt?

Hillary Clinton: When did this attack begin?

Flunky: About an hour ago.

Clinton: How long will it go on?

Flunky: I have no idea. It may end quickly, or it may go on all night.

Clinton: Oh my, that is really inconvenient. I was just about to go to bed. Well, let’s not bother anyone at the Pentagon just yet. Wake me up in the morning and let me know how it went. If there is anyone still left alive in the consulate, make sure they sign a non-disclosure agreement ASAP. Good night.

AZCoyote on June 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM

I can’t help but notice that the MSM is actually following this as a real news story. I mean, the NYTimes leaking the bit about Bergdahl leaving a note behind.

Are they finally taking off the kneepads and standing up? Or am I being prematurely optimistic?

Wethal on June 3, 2014 at 9:07 AM

They had evidence he was a possible deserter from day one. And Hillary, as SoS, probably knew this all along.

Wethal on June 3, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Bergdahl apparently used his cell phone to call back to the unit to let them know he quit.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Broken clock Wethal

cmsinaz on June 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Brain damage.

Pork-Chop on June 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The White House has said it will not give a read out of Obama’s lunch with Clinton, calling it a private event.

When you are the President, there are no ‘private’ events. At least there shouldn’t be. You work for the people 24/7 and are always on call, just like the military. That is why there might be a 3 am phone call. Not that Obozo sees it that way.

Jugears is shrouded in more secrecy than any president I’ve seen.

Patriot Vet on June 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

On one hand, it seems a bit of a stretch. Hillary and Obama learned to get along, but at least in public they never seemed like confidantes. On the other hand, that raises the question about the purpose of the lunch in the first place, and the timing appears at least … curious.

If the goal is to make sure the other major power base of the Democratic Party has its story coordinated with the White House, and that Team Obama can get assurances from Team Clinton they’re not planning to throw the president under the bus in general over any other current problems any time soon, then the meeting makes sense.

Since the administration actually thought they were going to get positive publicity for the Bergdahl release, it’s unlikely that was a major reason for the meeting — more likely it was just to make sure both sides were on the same page, since both are capable of making trouble for each other, both when it comes to the 2016 election cycle and either one trying to stab the other in the back on Benghazi, if the heat gets too severe in the upcoming Gowdy investigation.

jon1979 on June 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Ed, “That we take CARE of our….” (missing care)

kerrhome on June 3, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Susan Rice: “He served with honor and distinction” ??? Hey Susan, aren’t those puppet strings getting sort of tight? The scary part is, this a our current national security advisor, some one who is privy to every piece of “top secret” intelligence, including the Pentagon’s assessment of Bergdahl’s choice to walk off his post. Rice, by her own volition is an embarrassment to her position by again lying to the American public. No one’s going to buy Rice’s “this was the best intelligence known at the time” BS she pulled on the Benghazi massacre.

Just remember this in November: The liberal media has, (for the past three days) reported that “Republicans are appalled by this terrorist swap for a suspected deserter”. If this is the case, then all Democrats support the decisions of this President, (including the five heroes who died trying to recover this traitor from the battle field. Think about this when you go to the polls and vote for a Democrat.

And, Mrs. Clinton appears to have been included in the loop to cover her butt.

Rovin on June 3, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Ed, “That we take CARE of our….” (missing care)

kerrhome on June 3, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Such a careless mistake.

Flange on June 3, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Strange interest in what Obama and Clinton talked about.

LashRambo on June 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Maybe Obama and Clinton were discussing their bet. Obama bet Hil that he could run the most corrupt, criminal administration of all time and nobody would prosecute him because he is black. Hil told him at their lunch that he has not committed a high enough crime for the bet to be valid, and she would be collecting on her wager soon. Obama said “Not so fast…”

tdarrington on June 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Another phony scandal. This happened a week ago. Why are Rethugs so obsessed with the past?

tdarrington on June 3, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Only if the news reported it.

Wade on June 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Another phony scandal. This happened a week ago. Why are Rethugs so obsessed with the past?

tdarrington on June 3, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Because people are judged by their actions, not their words.

Wade on June 3, 2014 at 9:36 AM

“The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one.”

Put that in the context of Benghazi.

From now on, Hillary will always be putting her foot in her mouth whenever she discusses military matters and/or foreign affairs.

Bitter Clinger on June 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Mrs Clinton will be absent on this one, too.

TimBuk3 on June 3, 2014 at 9:48 AM

If the rat-eared wonder told the pig-in-a-pantsuit last week but didn’t bother to inform Congress until yesterday after it was a done deal…….. well, that’s even more impeachable.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

I hope somebody, somewhere has a comprehensive list of all the impeachable offenses committed by King Penanfone. I can’t even remember the most recent one, unless it’s this one.

leftamark on June 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Nothing but stage theater from this administration.

I view this as a failed attempt to rehabilitate the bumbling “give-a-sh!t about our people” reputation earned during the Benghazi debacle.

I think it was also supposed to be “admitted” during one of the following interviews that Hillary was involved in the planning of this recovery process in order to do the same for her.

Nothing left for Obama and Clinton to do now but hide out and see what the media can do to fix it.

ROCnPhilly on June 3, 2014 at 9:55 AM

New word to make “pure political strategy sessions” a bit more discreet: call them “informal”
One could easily argue that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a form of “informal” meeting too I suppose.

Don L on June 3, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Was her concussion real?
Is she having that ringing between her ears like Obama claimed to have?

Electrongod on June 3, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Did you mean to say “between” or “in?”

Don L on June 3, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Obama managed to get them to the White House, but no one could pick up a phone to talk to Buck McKeon and Mike Rodgers? Come on, man.

Obama sees Republicans as his enemy. To an ideologue like Obama, it’s more important to win political victories against your enemies than it is to win wars against nations that would rather we did not exist.

Mark Boabaca on June 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Hmm, this seems like a weird path to expend energy upon. Even if Obama did tell her, um… so what?

Midas on June 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Hmm, this seems like a weird path to expend energy upon. Even if Obama did tell her, um… so what?

Midas on June 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

The point is that if he had time to tell Clinton on Thursday, he certainly had time to tell Congress ahead of time. That would mean Rice was lying (again) about not having time to inform Congress.

GAlpha10 on June 3, 2014 at 10:19 AM

I bet right about now Hillary and Bubba are furious at the way this has been bungled, and how she has been dragged in. A little bit of schadenfreude there. Anyone feeling their pain? Heh.

How much baggage will the Dems allow Hillary before they realize she should not be the nominee?

Wethal on June 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Hillary waited long enough to support the swap, if true. She announced her support last night on the same basis Obama argued this morning — that we take of our citizens abroad

Some things just stun you into silence. This is one of them.

BobMbx on June 3, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Hmm, this seems like a weird path to expend energy upon. Even if Obama did tell her, um… so what?

Midas on June 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Wouldn’t you like to know if a presumptive US President was involved in, and maybe agreed with:

1. Breaking US law
2. Trading 5 REALLY BAD GUYS THAT US WITH A PASSION for a deserter.

BobMbx on June 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

The Associated Press @AP · 7h

Hillary Rodham Clinton gives measured defense of Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner swap: http://apne.ws/1nJSNTl

Hillary Rodham Clinton defends prisoner swap
By NICHOLAS RICCARDI
— Jun. 3, 2014 1:11 AM EDT
**************************

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a measured defense Monday of the Obama administration’s controversial decision to swap five Guantanamo Bay detainees for a U.S. soldier held hostage in Afghanistan, noting that many of America’s allies make similar deals.

The former secretary of state was asked about the exchange by the moderator at an event in a Denver suburb. Clinton said she did not second-guess people who make such tough decisions, but said the American tradition of caring for its citizens and soldiers was a “noble” one.

She also noted that countries like Israel have made similar swaps, citing that country’s decision to exchange more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one of its soldiers in 2011.

“This young man, whatever the circumstances, was an American citizen — is an American citizen — was serving in our military,” Clinton said. “The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one.”

Several Republicans have hammered the Obama administration for the deal, saying it had capitulated to terrorists. Additionally, some critics have suggested that Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan before being captured by the Taliban in 2009.

Clinton said the most important thing will be to get as much information as possible from Bergdahl about his time in captivity, saying he could be a valuable intelligence asset and shed light on the Taliban’s workings. She noted the Guantanamo detainees were supposed to be kept in the Gulf emirate of Qatar for a year.

She added that she understood regrets about the deal but that the Obama administration feared Bergdahl wouldn’t survive much longer. She described it as an example of the “hard choices” in government that is also the title of her forthcoming book.

“You don’t want to see these five prisoners go back to combat. There’s a lot that you don’t want to have happen. On the other hand you also don’t want an American citizen, if you can avoid it, especially a solider, to die in captivity,” Clinton said. “I think we have a long way to go before we really know how this is going to play out.”

Clinton appeared as part of a public speaking series called Unique Lives & Experiences.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/hillary-rodham-clinton-defends-prisoner-swap

canopfor on June 3, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Yeah, but has she buried the hatchet with Monica yet? They could trade tips.

ExpressoBold on June 3, 2014 at 11:19 AM

I asked yesterday “where is Hillary on this?”

I hope that Greta/Baier will ask her, if she doesn’t cancel the interviews now.

Schadenfreude on June 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM

…who keeps waking Hillary up…at 3AM?

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM

THIS DEAL HAS BEEN OUT THERE FOR YEARS — IT WAS VOTED DOWN 3 YEARS AGO — OF COURSE HILLARY KNEW…

“BUT WHAT DOES IT MATTER”…

easyt65 on June 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Make sure Killary is wearing a helmet before asking her any questions.

viking01 on June 3, 2014 at 3:03 PM

“Did Hillary know about the Bergdahl last week?
Only if there was a news story about a video.

JohnFLob on June 3, 2014 at 4:31 PM

“This young man, whatever the circumstances, was an American citizen — is an American citizen — was serving in our military,” Clinton said in response to a question about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, whose release was announced Saturday.

“The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one.”

Put that in the context of Benghazi.

Easy.

It’s the context of Benghazi that creates the need for Obama to try to prove they really do care about the military.

Of course, it’s more of an inverse relationship to Benghazi.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 3, 2014 at 6:55 PM

All I want to know is if she’s healthy enough to dodge sniper fire.

307wolverine on June 3, 2014 at 8:46 PM