CNN Source: WH Was Afraid Congress Would Veto Exchange

CNN Source: WH Was Afraid Congress Would Veto Exchange

CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger stated that a national security source not inside the Obama administration told her that “sometimes you don’t ask a question when you know what the answer’s going to be” in a discussion on the failure of the president to notify Congress about the exchange for Bowe Bergdahl.  Borger responded affirmatively when host Wolf Blitzer clarified by asking if this mean asking “because they would have been opposed?”  Borger also agreed with Blitzer when he stated “the president had clearly made up his mind what he wanted to do.”

Partial transcript as follows:

BLITZER: Our Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger has been looking into this, doing some reporting. If the president or his white house chief of staff or secretary of defense had actually consulted or notified members of the House and Senate, the intelligence committees, the armed services committees, might some of the political uproar have been mitigated, if you will?

BORGER: I was speaking to one national security source today, who is not inside this administration, but who said, you know, sometimes you don’t want to ask a question when you know what the answer’s going to be.

BLITZER: Because they would have been opposed?

BORGER: Because they would have said no. Look, these are discussions, Wolf, that had gone on for years with Congress about the question of rescue, for example, or the question of some kind of a trade. This issue had been brought up. It was very clear that there were — it was controversial. And so, you know, notification is one thing. Consultation is another. When you hear the Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee complain that she wasn’t notified, the question I have is, you know, it’s easier to complain about process than it is to complain about substance. She may also disagree on the substance but it’s easier to talk about the fact you weren’t notified. We don’t know what she does believe on this. But, you know, I think they would have been able to get some people inside the tent with them, maybe.

BLITZER: Yeah, I think even White House officials acknowledge they should have notified Dianne Feinstein, Mike Rogers, the respective chairs of the intelligence committee.  And they sort of apologized. Dianne Feinstein says Tony Blinken, the Deputy National Security Advisor called to apologize why the administration did not give her a heads up.

BORGER: But if they had consulted her and she said no –I don’t think it’s a good idea.

BLITZER: The president had clearly made up his mind what he wanted to do.

BORGER: Exactly.

BLITZER: But As a courtesy, he should have — they should have notified – I think they themselves.

BORGER: I agree.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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