The White House claimed Wednesday that a potential prisoner swap between the Islamic State and Jordan is different from last year's trade of five Taliban prisoners for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl because the Taliban are only an "armed insurgency" -- an explanation one congressman called "nonsense."
White House spokesman Eric Schultz sought to make the distinction when asked about the Jordanian government's willingness to release a female jihadist, in a bid to secure the freedom of a Jordanian pilot captured in Syria. ISIS also is holding a Japanese hostage, whom they have threatened to execute.
Schultz reiterated that "we don't pay ransom, we don't give concessions to terrorist organizations."
Asked how the Jordanian government's response is any different from the Taliban-Bergdahl trade, Schultz said the Taliban are an "armed insurgency," while ISIS is a "terrorist group."
Further, he described last year's swap as part of an "end of conflict interaction," as part of the wind-down of the Afghanistan war.
But in a statement to FoxNews.com, House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said "it's all semantics."
"The White House screwed up on the Bergdahl trade, plain and simple, and now they want justify their actions by splitting hairs on how they compare the Taliban to ISIS," he said.
Hunter also noted that Bergdahl was held by militants with the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network, which technically has been declared a terror group. "Bergdahl was in the custody of Haqqani initially, not the Taliban. But regardless of who claimed custody of Bergdahl in the end, is the Taliban not an adversary?" Hunter said. "Is the Taliban not responsible for American deaths? Frankly, it's more nonsense from an administration that seems to have lost its sense of reality."
The Obama administration has tried to articulate its own hostage negotiation policy after ISIS purportedly executed one Japanese hostage and threatened to kill another, and made similar threats over the Jordanian prisoner.
On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said U.S. policies are "pretty well set" on the matter.
"We don't get into negotiation with terrorists. We don't pay ransom because that cash then fuels further kidnappings, which just continue to exacerbate the problem. So, we're not going to do that," he told "Fox News Sunday."
But in a letter sent to the White House on Monday, Hunter said that statement "blatantly contradicts" the facts behind the Bergdahl swap.
The Bergdahl trade is back in the headlines following claims that the Army may be preparing to charge him with desertion. The Pentagon and Army have adamantly denied the claims, saying no decision has been reached.
Reports have emerged that Qatar also proposed a trade last year for an Al Qaeda operative held in a U.S. prison. Two Americans held by Qatar were ultimately released in December, and the Al Qaeda operative was released this month -- though the administration insists no trade was considered. Officials said the operative was released after time served.
In his letter, Hunter urged the administration to better explain that release.
He said the Bergdahl trade set a precedent that "reshuffled" the deck for "all other Americans in captivity."
Asked about the developments with Jordan, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that every country "has the ability and the right to make decisions," but reiterated the U.S. position that "we don't make concessions to terrorists."
Jordan is reportedly in indirect talks with the militants to get the ISIS hostages released.
FoxNews.com's Judson Berger contributed to this report.