By Eric Garland - 06/11/14 01:41 PM EDT
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Wednesday went on the offensive against Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelThere's still time for another third-party option Hagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill MORE over the reasons why Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is being held in Germany.
Bergdahl, captured by the Taliban in 2009 and released back to the U.S. last week, has been recovering at a hospital in Germany. Miller pressed Hagel on why Bergdahl couldn't recover in his home country.
The Florida lawmaker said that soldiers with injuries of many different severities are usually able to recover in the U.S., which made Hagel defensive.
"I don't like the implications of the question," Hagel shot back.
The Obama administration and Defense department has been under scrutiny for the Bergdahl exchange, which freed the Army sergeant in exchange for five Taliban detainees. Miller pressed Hagel on whether Bergdahl could return to the U.S. to be questioned about his captivity, but Hagel deflected the idea over concerns for the soldier's health.
"This isn't just about a physical situation congressman," Hagel said. "This guy was held for almost five years under God-knows-what kind of condition… this is not just about can he get on his feet and walk to his plane.
"I'm telling you that the medical professionals who we rely on their judgment for his health, which I assume everyone respects, will make the determination that when he is ready to move to the next step, then we can proceed."