CNN Hounds Liberal Senator Over Twitter Jab at Bergdahl Critics

CNN's Michaela Pereira surprisingly went after Democratic Senator Chris Murphy on Thursday's This Hour for his Tweet that ripped the critics of the release of five Taliban leaders for Bowe Bergdahl's safe return as "Obama haters" who only attacked the former captive "just to score political points."

Pereira underlined that his online post "garnered some controversy," and that "some of the people who are criticizing the President...are not politicians. They're soldiers – soldiers that either fought alongside Bowe Bergdahl; part of his unit; or were serving overseas at the same time. Don't they have a right to voice their opinions and speak their mind?" John Berman followed up with a hardball question for Senator Murphy: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

JOHN BERMAN: ...[T]o the point of Bowe Bergdahl and the attacks on Bowe Bergdahl, so many of them – including right here on CNN – are coming from his fellow soldiers. And just to be clear, most of these soldiers, by the way, say it is right and correct that he was freed from the Taliban. What they are most upset about is the idea that some people are lionizing Bergdahl. They were upset that he was called a hero – that he served with honor and distinction. Those were Susan Rice's words. That's the problem that some of his soldiers – fellow soldiers have.

The two CNN anchors first sought the Connecticut senator's take on how "many of your colleagues – your fellow lawmakers – are doubtful that this proof of life video justifies the swap of Sergeant Bergdahl." The liberal politician wasted little time before launching his partisan attack on Republicans/conservatives:

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: ...I don't think it's a coincidence that walking out of that briefing last night, with some exceptions, it was basically Republicans saying that they disagreed with the transfer, and it was Democrats saying that they had gotten the proof that they need. This is all political, especially now that we're within about four months of the election.

Berman then raised how "there is a law that says that says that the administration had to consult with Congress or notify them before...releasing prisoners from Guantanamo. That's why the video mattered, because...we needed to make this deal quickly without consulting you." Senator Murphy replied, in part, by continuing his attack on his ideological opponents: "This is not just for Republicans about questioning notification of Congress. They're objecting to the whole idea that we should go after POWs and bring them home, which I think is completely wrongheaded."

Pereira and her co-anchor spent the rest of the interview on the Connecticut senator's attack of President Obama/Bergdahl's critics:


MICHAELA PEREIRA: Well, Senator, I want to bring it beyond the political realm and talk about a Tweet that you sent on Tuesday that has garnered some controversy. Your Tweet says, 'Really sad to watch Obama haters attack this kid who chose to fight to protect the rest of us, just to score political points.'

And the point I want to make is, some of the people who are criticizing the President and his choice to – to go and rescue Bowe Bergdahl are not politicians. They're soldiers – soldiers that either fought alongside Bowe Bergdahl; part of his unit; or were serving overseas at the same time. Don't they have a right to voice their opinions and speak their – speak their mind?

MURPHY: They absolutely do. My reference, as I made clear about 10 minutes later, was to the idea that there are Republican operatives that are spending a lot of time right now organizing a campaign against the President. There's a very legitimate debate here. There is a very legitimate debate over whether or not it made sense to transfer these five prisoners in exchange for Bergdahl.

What doesn't make sense is an attack on Bergdahl himself, especially when we haven't heard his side of the story. And that's what I'm just cautioning right now, is that before we go out and make determinations about the nature of his capture or the wisdom of the transfer, let's just slow down – get all of the information necessary. There's been an awful lot of totally wrong information that's been out there in the public, and I just want to quell this rush to judgment.

BERMAN: And we want the facts, too, Senator. We want this investigation to take place, and we want this young man to get healthy in Germany and back home as well. But again, to the point of Bowe Bergdahl and the attacks on Bowe Bergdahl, so many of them – including right here on CNN – are coming from his fellow soldiers. And just to be clear, most of these soldiers, by the way, say it is right and correct that he was freed from the Taliban. What they are most upset about is the idea that some people are lionizing Bergdahl. They were upset that he was called a hero – that he served with honor and distinction. Those were Susan Rice's words. That's the problem that some of his soldiers – fellow soldiers have.

MURPHY: Well, again, we don't condition going after prisoners of war based on the circumstances of their capture. As I think some have said, whether you fell off the boat or jumped off the boat, we still go and rescue you. And so, we'll have plenty of time to debate the nature of Bergdahl's service. But let's be clear: there's only one percent of Americans – less than one percent of Americans who sign up and go fight to protect the rest of us. We'll find out what the real story is about Bowe Bergdahl's departure. But I would submit that everyone who signs up voluntarily to put their life on the line to serve this country is a hero, and the rest of the story will come out over time.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center