Politics

HUD Official Apologizes After Suggesting Bergdahl May Have Served With 'Psychopaths'

| by Jared Keever

An Obama administration official apologized Thursday for making comments through his personal Twitter account suggesting that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon might have been filled with “psychopaths.”

Fox News reports that Brandon Friedman is a deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department for Housing and Urban Development. He sent out a series of five tweets Wednesday night in which he questioned whether Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers were now trying to “smear” him.

Bergdahl was in Taliban custody for five years. He was released to U.S. officials last week. Some of his fellow soldiers have come forward saying that he deserted his post the night he disappeared in 2009.

“Here's the thing about Bergdahl and the Jump-to-Conclusions mats: What if his platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership?” read Friedman’s first tweet.

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Friedman is a former veteran himself, according to the Daily Caller. He served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. After leaving the military in 2004 he wrote a book that was critical of his experience in the military titled, “The War I Always Wanted.”

He delivered a July 2007 national radio address for the Democratic Party in which he argued for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. 

He began working in the Obama administration in 2009 in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He went to work for HUD earlier this year. 

The HUD press office released a statement from Friedman on Thursday in which he apologized for his controversial tweets.

"I’d like to clarify tweets I wrote last night on my personal Twitter account concerning the return of Bowe Bergdahl,” the statement read. “First, I do not speak for the Administration on national security issues in any capacity—public or personal.”

Friedman said that, because of his former military service, he has the “highest regard” for fellow service members.

“While I just wanted to make the point that the public should wait before passing judgment, I unfortunately used my own poor judgment in choosing inappropriate language that many view as disparaging to U.S. service members,” the statement continued. “That was certainly not my intent and I regret making the comments on my personal account in such a way. I apologize to those with whom I work in the Administration, at HUD, and, most importantly, to any service members who took offense.”

Sources: Friedman’s Twitter Account, Fox News, Daily Caller