Rep. Peter King warns Gitmo prisoner exchanges 'risk American lives'

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," January 29, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, U.S. officials now confirming to Fox News that at least one of five Taliban killers recently released by the Obama administration has now returned to terror.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly.

In June of last year President Obama agreed to swap five top Taliban commanders for captured American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, a sergeant accused by his squad of deserting. These guys are considered generals in the Taliban terror army with the United Nations saying they ordered or supervised the murder and torture of thousands. Nearly all have deep ties to Al Qaeda, and one of them even harbored Usama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks.

But they went free anyway. And even the president had to acknowledge that they may again threaten the United States.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely.


KELLY: Republican Congressman Peter King is chairman of the counterterrorism and intelligence subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee. Good to see you tonight, sir, thanks for being with us.

REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: In fairness Barbara Starr broke this story and she had it and now we have confirmed it and Senator Lindsey Graham has come out in advance the ball saying, these guys -- he uses plural, "they have had some Haqqani people," that's the worst of the worst, "come to meet with them. They're reaching out. They're communicating with people inside Afghanistan." So so much for the plan of, "Qatar's going to watch them for a year. Not to worry."

KING: Megyn, this is what we've been concerned about and angry about from the start. This was a hoax. The president released the five of the worst of the worst and in return, all we got was Qatar saying that they will keep an eye on them, they monitor them. There's no reason why we should trust Qatar. The fact is that, you know, just last week when the other terrorist al-Masri sent back to Qatar, he got a roaring ovation. He was welcomed as a hero in Qatar.

So for us to be relying on them to keep an eye or to monitor or to be honestly monitoring these five Al Qaeda terrorists is absolutely absurd. This is part of the president's overall policy to shut down Gitmo at any cost. And tonight I started calling people like Mike McCaul, Devin Nunes who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee. There's uproar on Capitol Hill, because this is going to result in the loss of human life. The president just cannot stop letting people go from Gitmo. He wants it closed at all cost.

KELLY: Do you believe that there is a threat to America? Because I want to remind the audience of what Hillary Clinton said about this when it was announced that we had made this deal when she was rolling out her book in June. Listen.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY: These five guys are not a threat to the United States. They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan.


KELLY: Was she right?

KING: No. Secretary Clinton's wrong. The fact is if they were a threat to Afghanistan, if they were a threat to anyone in the world, they were a threat to the United States. If we learned anything from September 11th is that Islamist terrorist, their ultimate target is the United States. And Secretary Clinton above all should know that.

Now, they are definitely a threat to the United States. Tonight you'll see statements coming out from members of Congress, prominent members of Congress saying, this is going to -- this does risk American lives. And that's the reality here. Lives are at risk and there's no policy reason for it. There's no possible justification whatever for this other than the president's ideological passion to close Guantanamo.

KELLY: Congressman Pete King, good to see you, sir.

KING: Megyn, thank you.

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