Hagel: I Don’t Know the Connection Between the Taliban and Haqqanis

BY:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel couldn’t say what the relationship exactly was between the Taliban and Haqqani networks during his testimony on the Bowe Bergdahl trade Wednesday.

“I don’t know exactly the relationship,” he said. “By the way, I said in my statement the Haqqani network was holding Bergdahl. We know that there is an affiliation, there’s an association.”

Hagel also didn’t know whether the U.S. had traded with the Taliban in the past.

Full exchange:

REP. TRENT FRANKS: Let me finally ask you, can you clarify for us, I didn’t get it clear a moment ago, what is the connection or the relationship between the Haqqani network and the Taliban?

CHUCK HAGEL: I don’t know exactly the relationship. By the way, I said in my statement the Haqqani network was holding Bergdahl. We know that there is an affiliation, there’s an association. We don’t know if the Taliban had subcontracted to the Haqqanis to hold Bergdahl. We, again, can get down deeper in this in a classified –

FRANKS: Well, I think that would be important for the record at some point –

HAGEL: We don’t know all of the pieces.