Holder: Closing Gitmo 'realistic'

Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderGOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight Jeff Sessions returns to Justice Department to retrieve Cabinet chair The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain MORE on Tuesday said it was “possible” President Obama could achieve his goal of closing the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, though it will require cooperation from a GOP Congress.

“Yes, I think there is a realistic possibility that could happen,” Holder said after a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

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He said there is “no question” that closing the controversial prison “would be a good thing,” repeating the administration arguments that housing prisoners at Guantanamo is not fiscally sound and that the site serves as a “recruiting tool” for U.S. enemies.

“There are a whole host of reasons why Guantanamo should be closed,” he said.

Obama in recent months has made a new push to close the facility, which he promised to do in his first days in office. Transfers have reduced the prison population to 122 people, its smallest number in years.

The renewed effort has sparked outrage among Capitol Hill Republicans who believe the prison should remain open.

Last week the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a GOP-backed measure that would effectively block the transfer of detainees from the prison for the rest of Obama’s presidency.

The White House has threatened to veto the legislation.