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Hagel, Miller spar over Bergdahl swap

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Wednesday went on the offensive against Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelHagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill Hagel to next president: We need to sit down with Putin MORE over the reasons why Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is being held in Germany.

Bergdahl, captured by the Taliban in 2009 and released back to the U.S. last week, has been recovering at a hospital in Germany. Miller pressed Hagel on why Bergdahl couldn't recover in his home country. 

"You're trying to tell me that he's being held at Landstuhl in Germany because of his medical condition?" Miller asked skeptically.

The Florida lawmaker said that soldiers with injuries of many different severities are usually able to recover in the U.S., which made Hagel defensive.

"I don't like the implications of the question," Hagel shot back.

The Obama administration and Defense department has been under scrutiny for the Bergdahl exchange, which freed the Army sergeant in exchange for five Taliban detainees. Miller pressed Hagel on whether Bergdahl could return to the U.S. to be questioned about his captivity, but Hagel deflected the idea over concerns for the soldier's health. 

"This isn't just about a physical situation congressman," Hagel said. "This guy was held for almost five years under God-knows-what kind of condition… this is not just about can he get on his feet and walk to his plane.

"I'm telling you that the medical professionals who we rely on their judgment for his health, which I assume everyone respects, will make the determination that when he is ready to move to the next step, then we can proceed."

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