In an interview with Shark Tank Carolinas, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) blasted President Obama for his lack of leadership on foreign policy saying that “our allies don’t know if we are with them and our enemies don’t fear us.”
Ellmers also criticized President Obama for not informing Congress about the decision to release five Taliban leaders from Gitmo in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl. “He is an American, but at the same time, the fact is that we were completely bypassed. And yet those who came and briefed us on this issue fully acknowledged that there were 80 or 90 members of the White House — staff of the White House — that were aware of this situation, but not one member of Congress,” Ellmers said. “Not one representative from the House. Not one senator. Not one member of intel,” she added.
Ellmers said that she reached out via email to a female member of the Afghan parliament who expressed her alarm about the release of the Taliban members. “She responded back very candidly that this puts fear in their minds — that these five Taliban are responsible for thousands being murdered in a couple different provinces,” Ellmers said.
The Afghan parliamentarian asked if Americans truly stand for human rights. “I can’t believe that President Obama would make this choice,” she said, adding that it has caused great fear in Afghanistan.
Ellmers told the Afghan woman that members of Congress “are fully standing behind Afghan women, Afghan people,” explaining that Americans want them to have a democracy. “We want them to be in charge and feel that sense of freedom/ … They need to know that the American people are with them.”
The North Carolina congresswoman said that President Obama’s decision on the prisoner swap damaged our foreign policy credibility. “I think that was a very, very strong statement we made, that we would release these individuals,” Ellmers said. “Across the world, our allies don’t know if we are with them and our enemies don’t fear us.”