Rubio speaking to Wolf Blitzer that President Barack Obama, by authorizing the swap, has endangered “countless American men and women in uniform across the globe.” Rubio said the exchange creates an “incentive” for militants abroad to snatch Americans with the hopes of trading for terror captives.
He also said the decision ”will lead to five terrorist members of the Taliban returning to the battlefield to kill Americans” – echoing the language of a number of Republicans critical of the trade.
The five Taliban detainees were transferred from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility to Qatar, which brokered the deal.
Rubio, slamming President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is nothing new. The Republican senator from Florida and potential 2016 presidential candidate has consistently blamed Obama’s policies abroad as the catalyst of America’s slipping status in the world.
Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, adds another high-profile voice to a growing chorus demanding more explanation on the White House’s decision.
Democrats, specifically Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, however are charging that Republicans are merely playing politics with the logistics of the negotiation.
After a closed-door briefing Wednesday night, Rubio said the classified session shed little light on the situation.
“I remain as deeply skeptical about this as I did before this conversation that we just had with the administration. For two days now, we’ve asked questions, many of which have not yet been fully answered,” he said.
Republicans and Democrats have said this week that the administration long ago promised to consult Congress before negotiating a prisoner swap, but said they hadn’t heard anything more about it until the deal was done.