By Kevin Cirilli - 06/01/14 10:59 AM EDT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Sunday that it was "disturbing" for the administration to negotiate the transfer of five detainees at Guantánamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for the Taliban’s release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
“Sgt. Bergdahl was fighting to capture these terrorists," he added. "Can you imagine what he would say to his fallen comrades who lost their lives to stop these people who were responsible either directly or indirectly for threatening and taking U.S. civilian lives?"
The potential 2016 GOP presidential contender joined other Republicans, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), in saying that the exchange could act as incentive for other terrorists to kidnap U.S. soldiers.
"The reason the U.S. has had the policy for decades of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it every other terrorist has an incentive to capture more soldiers," Cruz said.
During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, national security adviser Susan Rice pushed back against GOP claims that the administration negotiated with terrorists by transferring five Taliban prisoners in Guantánamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl’s release.
"I wouldn't put it that way," Rice said on CNN's "State of the Union" when asked if the exchange means that U.S. officials can no longer say they don't negotiate with terrorists.