Cochran, others delete Bergdahl praise

Sen. Thad Cochran (R), facing a primary runoff in Mississippi, became the latest lawmaker to delete praise for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

A number of Republicans and at least one Democrat have rescinded their congratulations for the returned soldier after reports surfaced that five Taliban militants were sent to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl's return, and the administration's failure to warn Congress about the swap. 

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Earlier Wednesday, Cochran deleted a tweet posted three days ago that read, "Welcome home, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. A grateful American thanks you for your service."

Cochran will face a primary run-off June 24 with challenger Chris McDaniel after neither candidate topped the 50 percent vote threshold needed to win the nomination outright.

Similarly, Joni Ernst, who won Iowa's Republican Senate primary on Tuesday, deleted her tweet from Saturday when President Obama first announced Bergdahl's release. 

She will face a competitive general election against Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa).

"US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl freed after being reported missing 5 yrs in Afghanistan. Thoughts & prayers go out to Sgt. Bergdahl and his family," she wrote in the tweet that was deleted less than an hour after it was posted Saturday. 

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) also deleted messages about Bergdahl's return. 

"Great to hear that Bo Bergdahl has been released from captivity in Afgh/Pak. Warmest regards to his family with gratitude for his/their service and sacrifice," Lynch wrote in a tweet that was deleted Wednesday after being posted three days ago. 

The Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops captured all the deleted tweets. Terry’s deleted message appeared on his Facebook page. 

The elation surrounding the return of the missing soldier Saturday was soon eclipsed by questions about whether Bergdahl initially deserted his post five years ago when he went missing.

The Defense Department has said it will review the events surrounding his disappearance after his health issues are taken care of. 

Lawmakers of both parties have also blasted the administration for the high cost of the trade with the Taliban to get the soldier back. The administration released five members of the Taliban, some high-ranking officials, that were imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

In addition, lawmakers were angered at the administration for defying a law that requires the administration give 30-day notice of any prisoner transfer from the base.