White House aides have anonymously attacked the honesty of soldiers who served with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and testified that he deserted. But Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to President Obama at the White House, would not say Friday morning if she agreed that Bergdahl had been "swiftboated" by his fellow soldiers, as a few White House aides told NBC's Chuck Todd.
TWS: White House aides have suggested that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was unfairly maligned in the press by some of those who served with him. There's a quote Chuck Todd reported that he's been "swiftboated." Is that something that you agree with? Do you think that there's anything inaccurate that's been said about Sgt. Bergdahl by those who served with him?
JARRETT: That's not for me to say. I think the president was very clear that we don't leave anyone behind and that we're a country that affords everyone due process. So let's do that, and let's not get out ahead of that due process.
At the breakfast meeting, which was sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Jarrett also declined to defend National Security Advisor Susan Rice's claim that Bergdahl had served with "honor and distinction."
Asked if President Obama believed that Bergdahl had served with "honor and distinction" at the time he agreed to release five Taliban commanders in exchange for Bergdahl, Jarrett said: "I think that anyone who served in our country overseas deserves the opportunity to come back to the United States and go through due process. And that's what I'll say on that subject."
Bergdahl's fellow soldiers testified before a congressional panel this week that Bergdahl deserted and should face a court martial. “Bowe Bergdahl needs to be charged with desertion,” said Cody Full, who served in Bergdahl’s unit. “Countless people looked for him when he went missing, putting their own lives on the line for him…Knowing that someone you needed to trust deserted you in war and did so on his own free will is the ultimate betrayal.”
"I want to say something to the anonymous sources in the president's administration who are disparaging the service of second platoon and Blackfoot company," Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a Republican and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, said at a hearing on Thursday. "Show yourself. Speak in your own name. Have the courage of your convictions. And if you don't, shut up, and stand back, and thank these men for their service."