Obama to move more Guantanamo Bay detainees before inauguration

Of the 59 prisoners remaining at Gitmo, 22 are eligible for transfer

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(CNN) – President Barack Obama plans to transfer additional detainees from Guantanamo Bay, the White House said Tuesday. Just hours earlier, President-elect Donald Trump revived the hot-button topic of the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay in a Twitter message warning against further prisoner transfers before he takes office.

During his final weeks in office, President Obama is trying to shore up some of the promises he made during his first presidential campaign, of which one of the biggest is to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay.

But Obama was never able to deliver on that, largely due to being rebuffed by a GOP-led Congress.

So, instead, he is making moves to leave as few prisoners in Gitmo as possible before Donald Trump is sworn in as president.

Obama said on September 8th, 2016, “I am not ready to concede that it may still remain open because we’re still working, diligently, to continue to shrink the population. I continue to believe that Guantanamo is a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations.”

Of the 59 prisoners remaining at Gitmo, 22 are eligible for transfer, according to the Pentagon.

The final push is not going over well with the President-elect, who vowed during his own campaign to keep the prison open and “load it up” with “bad dudes.”

That is something Trump reiterated earlier Tuesday in a tweet, saying, “There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”

Not that the White House seems to be listening. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained, “I think at this point I would expect additional transfers to be made before January 20th. He’ll have an opportunity to implement the policy that he believes is most effective when he takes office on January 20th.”

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