Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testified before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday morning and acknowledged a breach of trust between the Obama administration and Congress over the former’s failure to notify the latter in advance of the prisoner swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Guantanamo Bay detainees.
“I value the Defense Department’s partnership, partnership with this Congress, and the trust we’ve developed over the years,” Hagel said. “I know that trust has been broken. I know you have questions about that.”
“But I’ll tell you something else: I have always been straightforward, completely transparent about this committee, since I’ve been Secretary of Defense. I will do that always with all my relationships, associations and responsibilities to the Congress,” Hagel continued. “That’s what I always demanded of any administration when I was a member of the United States Senate. I’ve been on your side of this equation. I understand it. That’s what I’ve done this morning with the statement I’ve made and I made the decision I did. And I’ve explained that in general terms.”
“The circumstances surrounding my decisions were imperfect,” he said, “and these decisions that have to lead to some kind of judgment always are. The president is in the same position. But you have to make a choice. You have to make a decision.”
Watch the clip below, via CSPAN:
[Image via screengrab]
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