PHOENIX — Arizona Sen. John McCain said he is “leaning toward” supporting the United States in negotiating with the Taliban for a prisoner exchange that would bring an American man home.
“I lean toward risking it, depending on the nature of these people they want to release,” he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Rob & Karie on Wednesday.
The Washington Post reported Monday that the administration is seeking to resume talks with the Taliban, in hopes of exchanging U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for members of the group imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Post cited current and former officials who spoke on condition of anonymity as they outlined parts of a strategy they described as a last-ditch effort.
“I think it has to be considered,” McCain said. “I think part of it has to be who these people are and how dangerous they will be once they are freed.”
When asked if this would be a sign the United States will negotiate with terrorists, McCain said Israel and Pakistan routinely engage in prisoner exchanges, despite the countries viewing the prisoners as terrorists. Neither nation has noticed a large amount of harm coming from the exchange.
While the exchange would clearly be complicated, McCain said there is one fact the U.S. should focus on.
“This young man should be brought home,” he said. “There’s interesting circumstances about his disappearance, but the fact is, he’s an American.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.