Chuck Todd told Matt Lauer on Wednesday that the White House was “caught flat-footed” on the backlash against the prisoner swap for Sergeant Bergdahl.
“I’ve had a few aides describe it to me as ‘we didn’t know that they were going to Swift Boat Bergdahl’,” Todd said, “And Matt, of course, that’s a reference to that political fight back in 2004 over John Kerry’s military service which became so controversial in that campaign. So there’s some fighting words there.”
Earlier in the segment, Richard Engel reported on the controversy, playing a video of a mother whose son died searching for Bergdahl. “He’s getting the royal treatment,” she says, “and our kids came home, the ones of us who lost our sons, they came home in the baggage part of an airplane and were rolled out in a box with a flag.”
Engel also commented on the recently released video of the exchange, claiming it “shows how coordinated this exchange was. U.S. forces had asked the Taliban to initially shine a green light to indicate that they were the correct forces that had Bergdahl. The Taliban militants said they didn’t have a green light, ‘can we wave a flag instead?’” In the video, the Taliban members approach bearing a white flag.