According to Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services committee, the Obama administration’s briefers told he gathered House members that the person responsible for the decision to make the deal was not President Obama but Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defense.
“Now wait a minute, are you saying it was Secretary Hagel that made this decision, or was this the president of the United States?” McKeon, a California Republican, said to reporters. “It was the president of the United States that came out with the Bergdahls and took all the credit. And now that there’s been a little pushback, he’s moving away from it?”
The administration’s claim that Hagel, not Obama, made the decision is at odds with what Hagel himself said on Meet the Press on June 1. “I signed off on the decision,” Hagel said. “The president made the ultimate decision.”