POLITICS

Fact Checker Says John McCain DID Flip-Flop On Bowe Bergdahl

06/06/2014 12:57 pm ET | Updated Jun 06, 2014
Win McNamee via Getty Images

John McCain has spent much of the past week denying that he changed his position about exchanging Taliban prisoners for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl. So he probably wasn't happy on Friday morning, when the Washington Post's official fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, sided with the people who think McCain flip-flopped on Bergdahl.

McCain told Jake Tapper on Thursday that, although he previously expressed his willingness to exchange prisoners for Bergdahl, he would never have done so if he'd known exactly which prisoners would be exchanged. Kessler, though, poked some big holes in that argument:

We fully appreciate that the details of a prisoner exchange are important, and McCain certainly made that caveat clear. But since the deal was announced, he has suggested that the question of trading the Taliban Five for Bergdahl was a surprise—and that’s certainly not the case. These five men were always part of the prisoner swap, so that is not a detail that can be in dispute. Indeed, only a day after The Washington Post revealed a deal was in the works to trade the five men for Bergdahl, McCain appeared on television with what was billed as a “new position.”

[...]

McCain may have thought he left himself an out when he said his support was dependent on the details. But then he can’t object to the most important detail–the identity of the prisoners–that was known at the time he indicated his support. McCain earns an upside-down Pinocchio, constituting a flip-flop.

Read more here.

Suggest a correction
221 Comments

CONVERSATIONS