Flashback: Obama Officials Said Bergdahl 'Served with Distinction'

March 25, 2015

UPDATE March 25, 2:14 P.M. Bergdahl will be charged with desertion, his lawyer told ABC News.

UPDATE Jan. 27, 3:39 P.M.: The Army says no decision has been made to charge Sgt. Bergdahl with desertion, according to Army Times.

News broke last night that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last prisoner of war from the war in Afghanistan who was freed last year in exchange for five Taliban commanders, will be charged with desertion, likely in the next week.

In June, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Sgt. Bergdahl served the United States "with honor and distinction" during an interview on This Week, and other administration members also defended the soldier now being charged with leaving his post. Secretary of State John Kerry slightly hedged during a CNN interview after hearing Rice's words, but when reporter Elise Labott said Kerry sounded like he wasn't sure about Bergdahl serving with honor, Kerry said that wasn't what he was saying.

Then-Press Secretary Jay Carney also defended Rice's choice of words.

"Sgt. Bergdahl put on the uniform of the United States voluntarily and went to war for the United States voluntarily," Carney said. "That takes honor and is a mark of distinction."

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel battled the allegations and strongly defended the trade agreement of Gitmo prisoners for Bergdahl as well.

"[It's] a bit unfair to Sgt. Bergdahl's family and to him to presume anything," he said.

Soldiers serving alongside Bergdahl said at the time that Bergdahl clearly deserted and deserved to be put on trial upon his return. The Washington Free Beacon reported that retired Spc. Cody Full said Bergdahl's choice to leave was "premeditated" and he "should not be characterized as serving with honor and distinction."