Donald Trump

Trump Gets Fact Wrong in Attack on Obama for Gitmo Releases

Just nine of 122 released detainees who reengaged were released after Barack Obama's inauguration

President Donald Trump falsely accused the Obama administration of releasing "122 vicious prisoners" from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who have "have returned to the battlefield."

Trump didn't cite where he got the statistic in his Tuesday morning tweet, calling their release, "another terrible decision!"

But publicly available information from the U.S. Department of National Intelligence indicates that while 122 detainees have reengaged in terrorism or insurgencies, Obama's administration released nine detainees who returned to the battlefield. The vast majority of released detainees who reengaged as enemy combatants were released under the administration of George W. Bush. 

One hundred and thirteen of 122 released detainees who reengaged were released before Obama's inauguration, the data from Sept. 2016 show. More than 20 percent of prisoners released by the Bush administration reengaged, while 6 percent of those released under Obama did so.

In addition, 86 more people released from Guantanamo are suspected of reengaging — yet most of those were released under Bush as well. Suspicions refer to "plausible but unverified or single-source reporting" indicating a former detainee "is directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities," according to the report.

On Monday, U.S. airstrikes against an al-Qaeda-linked group in Yemen killed a former detainee who was released from the prison in 2009 despite earlier recommendations that he remain in custody because he was considered a "high threat" to America and its allies.

At its peak, the Guantanamo prison held nearly 680 detainees. It was down to 242 when President Barack Obama took office in 2009 and a few dozen remained when he left office. Obama said the prison was a waste of money and a recruiting tool for extremists. 

Trump also tweeted Tuesday that Russia "ran over" Obama for years, citing Crimea and missile escalation, and calling him "weak!"

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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