National Security Advisor Susan Rice is standing behind controversial remarks in which she said Bowe Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction” in Afghanistan.
Speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta Friday morning (June 6) at the 70th Anniversary celebration of D-Day in Normandy, France, Rice acknowledged that there has been significant controversy over the remarks, Politico reports:
“What I was referring to is the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That in itself is a very honorable thing.”
Acosta interjected “But ‘honor and distinction?’”, to which Rice responded “Jim, really. I mean, this is a young man whose circumstances we are still going to learn about.” Rice went on to say that Bergdahl is being tried “in the court of public opinion,” and that people should reserve judgement. “Let’s remember: This is a young man who volunteered to serve his country,” Rice said, echoing comments made earlier in the week by President Obama. “He was taken as a prisoner of war. He suffered in captivity. He’s now trying to begin the process of recovery. Let’s let that happen.” When Acosta asked if there was proof that Bergdahl is a deserter, Rice said that the military and administration still need to hear from Bergdahl directly.
Rice finds herself on familiar, if unwelcome, territory. Critics of the Obama administration have seized upon her remarks, echoing events in September 2012. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Rice was widely criticized for appearing on several Sunday talk shows following an attack on an American outpost in Benghazi, Lybia, and claiming that the protests arose spontaneously due to anger over a video about the Prophet Muhammad. The attacks were in fact planned, and criticism was so severe at the time that Rice was forced to withdraw her name from contention for Secretary of State.
Rice’s harshest critics were anything but silent this week. According to the New York Times, Sen. Lindsey Graham called for Rice’s resignation, telling Newsmax TV “When I hear her on television talking about a world event, I can’t believe anything she tells me.” Sen. John McCain, who has garnered criticism for his response to Bergdahl’s release, said Rice should “Stay off the Sunday shows.”
Asked by Acosta if she had been too “loose” with facts, Rice said she was “up front with the American people.” Saying it would be unfair for her to “condemn” Bergdahl without hearing his side of the story, Susan Rice acknowledged that his conduct would be investigated, and he may face consequences.
[Image via CNN]