President Obama Speaks About Release Of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

President Obama Speaks About Release Of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

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(KCEN) -- President Obama kicked off his four day tour in Europe Tuesday morning. His first stop was in Poland. While speaking in Poland's Capitol, he addressed criticism of the prisoner exchange to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

The President Responded:

"The United States has always had a pretty sacred rule and that is we don't leave our men or women in uniform behind, and that dates back to the earliest days of our revolution. We have consulted with congress for quite some time about the possibility that we might need to execute a prisoner exchange in order to recover sergeant bergdahl. We saw an opportunity. We were concerned about sergeant Bergdahl's health. We had the cooperation of the Qataris to execute an exchange, and we seized that opportunity."

"Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don't condition that. And that's what every mom and dad who sees a son or daughter sent over in the war theater should expect from not just their commander in chief by the United States of America."

"In terms of potential threats, the release of the Taliban who were being held in Guantanamo was conditioned on the Qataris keeping eyes on them and creating a structure in which we can monitor their activities. We will be keeping eyes on them. Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us, absolutely. That's been true of all the prisoners that were released from Guantanamo. There's a certain recidivism rate that takes place. I wouldn't be doing it if I thought it was contrary to American national security."

Bergdahl, 28, from Idaho was kidnapped in Afghanistan five years ago.

His Taliabn Captors released him over the weekend and the US freed five Taliban detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in return.

Many of his fellow comrades are calling Bergdahl a deserter and a traitor.

He reportedly walked away from his post while serving in eastern Afghanistan, carrying only a compass and bottle of water.

*NBC Contributed to this story

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