Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest declined to say whether or not President Barack Obama knew at the time of the prisoner exchange for five Taliban members that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had intentionally walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009.
Host Bill Hemmer pointed to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan at the time, saying he was aware Bergdahl had intentionally left his base. However, Earnest said he could not comment because of the current investigation.
“There were public reports speculate about this but, there are two important principles here,” Earnest said. “The first is there is a u.s. code of military justice. Every member of the armed services is entitled to due process under that code. And I’m certainly not going to say anything now that could be construed interfering in that ongoing investigation. And certainly Sergeant Bergdahl ask entitled to that due process. The other thing that is critically important the president believes we have a duty, as commander-in-chief he has a duty to our men and women in uniform we will not leave them behind.”
“There is a current ongoing investigation into the circumstances of Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance,” Earnest added. “I can’t say anything about that investigation. as the spokesperson for the commander-in-chief. I don’t want any perception of interference in that independent investigation. Sergeant Bergdahl is entitled to due process. That is what he is being subjected to right now. I don’t want to get in the way of that.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN