Off the Record

Greta: Who's on first at the Obama White House?

'Off the Record,' 6/4/14: I don't know what's worse, the White House's decision to send out National Security Adviser Susan Rice as their Sunday morning spokesperson or her answers

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for a minute. I don't know what's worse, The White House decision to send National Security Advisor Susan Rice out as their Sunday morning spokesperson or her answers.

Listen to what she told CNN's Candy Crowley about the decision to swap Sergeant Bob Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners at Gitmo, but to not notify Congress for the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Over the last several days, during of course of this week we saw it coming together.

(END VIDEO)

So, why not just pick up the phone and call the senate, Intelligence Chair Senator Feinstein and Ranking Member Senator Chambliss and tell them this might be coming together? Later in that interview:

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RICE: This opportunity is one that has been briefed to Congress when we had past potential to have this kind of arrangement.

(END VIDEO)

Well, that makes it obvious the White House knew its legal responsibility to brief before, responsibility to notify Congress since they had done so in the past. So, why did the White House freelance and violate the law this time? Well, according to Senator Lindsey Graham, because the White House already knew the senate's position.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: And every time the President asked, we said hell no. Panetta said no, Gates said no, Dianne Feinstein said no, Lindsey Graham said no.

(END VIDEO)

And then there is this remark:

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RICE: So, it wasn't unknown to Congress. The Department of Defense consulted with the Department of Justice.

(END VIDEO)

So, does this mean the attorney general is OK in bypassing Congress, thereby violating the law and the White House's excuse for violating the law?

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RICE: And given the acute urgency of the health condition of Sergeant Bergdahl.

(END VIDEO)

And Rice, said there was an acute urgency of his health condition but then in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that same morning, Rice said this is about Sergeant Bergdahl's health.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RICE: And, he is said to be walking, and in good physical condition.

(END VIDEO)

Good physical condition. Well now, she has me really confused. It can't be both, can't be acute and good. So, is the question for the White House tonight, who's on first?

And that's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.