Illinois senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin were among the senators shown a video of Bowe Bergdahl at a classified briefing Wednesday, CNN reports.
The captured Army sergeant was released as part of prisoner swap for Taliban terror detainees.
President Barack Obama has defended the swap, citing a “sacred” obligation to not leave men and women in uniform behind.
On Capitol Hill, Obama’s goal of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba faced re-energized opposition from Republicans and increased questioning from fellow Democrats in reaction to the trade.
Hoping to ease mounting criticism, officials from the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies briefed senators behind closed doors Wednesday evening. They showed the lawmakers a 1?-minute video provided by the Taliban that proved Bergdahl was alive and indicated to the administration that his deteriorating health required quick action.
According to CNN, Kirk, R-Ill., said Bergdahl “didn’t look good. I understand the emotional power the video had on the President.”
According to CNN, Durbin, a Democrat, said: “His condition in the video made it clear he was not in good condition and this was a proof of life video we insisted on before negotiations commenced. Once having seen it, as we saw it, I’m sure there was great concern about his condition,” Democrat Richard Durbin of Illinois said.