- The Washington Times - Monday, October 16, 2017

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion charges Monday in a military hearing at Fort Bragg and said President Trump’s words referring to him as a “traitor” prevented him from receiving a fair trial.

“The people who are to the point of saying, yeah just shoot him, you can never convince those people to change their minds,” Sgt. Bergdahl said in an interview recorded last year that was obtained by ABC News. The interviewed was aired on Monday.

“It does hurt,” he added, referring to people who call him a traitor and say he should be punished.

Sgt. Bergdahl spent five years as a Taliban prisoner after he walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009. He was released in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.

“It’s very insulting, the idea that they would think I did that,” he said, referring to reports that he was a jihadi sympathizer who tried to fight against the United States.

Mr. Trump said on the campaign trail that Sgt. Bergdahl was “garbage” and suggested that in “the old days,” the soldier would have been shot.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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