Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., both spoke out Thursday after the U.S. swapped five Al-Qaeda terrorist leaders for an American soldier who was being held captive.
In an interview with 5NEWS on Thursday (June 5), Cotton said he did not believe President Barack Obama made the right decision to swap five Taliban officials that were being held as prisoners in Guantanamo Bay for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
While Obama received some support from Democratic lawmakers on the move, many Congressional members on both sides of the political aisle said they wished the president had notified them of the exchange before it happened.
“We’re telling terrorists and outlaw regimes that we’ll swap our prisoners if they take an American hostage,” Cotton said.
Cotton said he doesn’t believe Obama was leveling with the American people, and more danger could come in the Middle East now that these five Taliban officials have been released.
“I think it’s more dangerous today for American troops and diplomats and aid workers in Afghanistan,” Cotton said.
Pryor released his own statement on the issue, saying, “The administration’s lack of transparency is not only frustrating, it’s unacceptable. The American people deserve answers about the capture and release of Sgt. Bergdahl. Our top priority should always be keeping our nation safe.”
Cotton is seeking Pryor’s U.S. Senate seat in the November election.
Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. On May 31, Obama announced the release of Bergdahl in exchange for five detainees at Guantanamo Bay that were later transported to Qatar.