Rep. Tom CottonTom CottonOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (R-Ark.) blasted President Obama for signing off on a deal to exchange U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban commanders, calling it a "grievous error" that could cost U.S. lives.

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"There is now a price on the head of American hostages, and Barack Obama has helped put that price there by breaking with a decade-long bipartisan consensus," Cotton, a Senate candidate and Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, told Arkansas podcast host J.R. Davis.

"I wouldn't have traded five senior Taliban commanders for any POW," he continued. "I would have continued to use intelligence resources and special operations units to try to retrieve Beau Bergdahl, or any POW for that matter. But I would not release senior hardened Taliban commanders. These are not goat herders or foot soldiers. These are the equivalent of their secretary of Defense or their CIA director. They are going to go back in the battlefield. That is going to happen. And they're going to help kill Americans in the future."

Cotton and Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) are locked in a tight battle in a top-priority race for both parties. Pryor is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.