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How Jay Carney Is Explaining Why the Bergdahl Swap Wasn't Negotiating With Terrorists

“Why not just call this what it was?"

White House press secretary Jay Carney listens as he briefs reporters at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Carney took questions about allegations that the CIA searched computers of congressional staffers. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Speaking Monday morning on CNN, White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked if the United States negoatiated with terrorists in releasing five Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

White House press secretary Jay Carney (AP Photo)

Carney, not surprisingly said no, and relied on definititions to explain why.

“He was not a hostage,” Carney said of Bergdahl. “He was a prisoner.”

Carney, who is in his waning days as press secretary, noted that securing Berghahl's release was urgent because of his deterirorating health after being in captivity for five years by the Taliban.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo asked Carney, “Why not just call this what it was? You negotiated with these terrorists because he is a prisoner of war and you have this pledge of leaving no man or women behind?”

Carney objected to the characterization.

“The fact is he was held in an armed conflict with the Taliban,” Carney said. “We were engaged in an armed conflict with the Taliban, and we have a history in this country of making sure that our prisoners of war are returned to us.”

“He was not a hostage, he was a prisoner,” Carney continued.

(H/T: Mediaite)

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