Obama makes ‘no apologies’ for Taliban hostage deal

BRUSSELS (TIP): President Barack Obama vehemently refused to apologize on Thursday for doing a prisoner trade with the Taliban to free a US soldier, despite a fierce political storm over the deal in Washington. Critics, both Republican and Democratic, have asked whether the transfer of five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for the release of US army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was even legal, and question both the price paid and the principle of a swap.

But Obama, asked about the row raging in Washington at the G7 summit in Brussels was unapologetic, repeating that he had a duty as commander-in-chief to get Bergdahl home. “We have a basic principle, we do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind, Obama said, adding that he had acted last week because the health of Bergdahl, held captive for nearly five years was deteriorating.

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