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POLITICS: PennAve

Dianne Feinstein: President 'justifiably proud' of Bowe Bergdahl release

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On "Face the Nation," the Senate Intelligence Committee's chairwoman defended the president's decision to announce Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release in the White House Rose Garden.

“I think the president was justifiably proud of this and he wanted to say it to everybody,” Dianne Feinstein said in an interview with Bob Schieffer on the CBS program.

Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, that committee's top Republican, took a slightly different tone. He reiterated that he's frustrated with the administration for waiting until after the fact to tell members of Congress about the decision to trade five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bergdahl. And he said he's found out about emerging details - such as that Bergdahl was in a cage for part of his captivity - in the same way as everyone else: from media reports. He said the administration has behaved “very strangely” toward him and Feinstein, and that he finds it “puzzling” that they weren't in the loop.

Chambliss also added the administration’s behavior regarding Bergdahl’s situation has been uncharacteristic.

“I can’t imagine anybody in the administration being able to look the American public in the eye and say, 'We never brief members of congress on ongoing operations,' ” Chambliss said.

He added that the administration kept him and Feinstein informed throughout hunt for Osama bin Laden, and that they knew for months about the direction things were going.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t get briefed on some classified aspect of our intelligence community, a lot of which is ongoing operations,” he said.

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Betsy Woodruff

Political Writer
The Washington Examiner