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WH Official: Chief of Staff’s Naming of ISIS Hostages Not ‘Constructive’

A senior White House official admitted to reporters that accidentally naming an American hostage may not have been “constructive to securing their release,” The Hill reports.

During an appearance yesterday on This Week, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough accidentally let slip the name of the last American citizen held hostage by ISIS, a woman captured in August of 2013 during a humanitarian mission. The family had requested that her name not be publicly released in order to help facilitate her release.

“I think it’s fair to say that we do not believe that it helps for the names of individual hostages to be in public,” Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told journalists during a press briefing in India. “I don’t want to speak for Denis, but, I mean, I think we’re being very forthright in saying that we don’t think that’s constructive to securing their release.”

It hasn’t been a good month for McDonough, who became Chief of Staff after Obama’s second inauguration: last week, he publicly took responsibility for the White House’s decision to not send a high-ranking official to the Paris march in honor of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacres.

[The Hill]
[Image via screenshot/CBS]

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