The White House is also claiming they knew about the desertion claims against Bergdahl, if this is true then why did they trot Susan Rice out on Sunday to praise him for “serving with honor and distinction?”

Via Politico:

President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden appearance Saturday afternoon with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s parents was an attempt to humanize the prisoner swap to deflect potential criticism of letting five Taliban leaders out of Guantanamo Bay, White House aides say.

It didn’t work.

White House aides were aware Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been tagged a deserter, and that they would be grilled over not keeping Congress in the loop. But they figured people would be most outraged over the national security implications.

The White House has been surprised by how much attention has remained on the questions about Bergdahl, from the circumstances of his disappearance to the wild beard his father grew while he was being held that’s even led to Bergdahl’s hometown canceling a celebration. All this, Obama aides say, is in their minds a proxy for the hatred toward the president.

The new approach: Frame the criticism as another example of Republicans complaining about something just because Obama was the one to do it.

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