A State Department spokeswoman on Monday would not say whether any cash ransom was paid for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
The question came in the midst of a flurry of questions about the circumstances surrounding the deal. A high-level intelligence officer familiar with the years-long hunt for Bergdahl told the Washington Free Beacon last week that a ransom was almost surely paid.
“I have not heard anything about cash, I’m happy to check,” said State spokeswoman Marie Harf when asked about the prospect at Monday’s press briefing.
It was at least the third time since last week that State has refused to confirm or deny that any cash changed hands.
The deal that freed Sgt. Bergdahl from captivity, which also released five Guantanamo Bay prison inmates, has come under withering criticism as polls show that the American people – and the veterans community – disapprove of the way it was handled.
Many questions surrounding the deal remain unanswered, including whether a cash ransom was paid in addition to the prisoner swap.
The intelligence official who spoke with the Free Beacon was sure that it did. “We just funded [the terrorist network that held Bergdahl] for the next ten years, is my guess,” he said.