The Obama administration gave senators a classified briefing Wednesday night on just what thinking went into the prisoner trade to recover Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Afghanistan. But that won't end questions from Congress.
"This gentleman needs to be looked into, quite extensively," said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., following the briefing, referring to questions about whether Bergdahl deserted the military.
During the classified briefing, senators were shown a roughly minute-and-a-half-long "proof of life" video of Bergdahl, which the Taliban had provided, in which the soldier "didn't look good," said Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
A few senators, including Manchin, argued that the video could just as easily have shown Bergdahl under the influence of drugs given to him by his captors. Moreover, Manchin argued, the video was given to the administration in December and wasn't reflective of Bergdahl's state at the time of the trade. "His health was not a critical factor," a visibly frustrated Manchin told reporters.
Several Democrats who had already been supportive of the administration's decision emerged from the meeting with more confidence. Both Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Sen. Mark Begich said they were satisfied with the administration's response, though Begich added that he still had some questions.