Iowa Congressman Steve King is questioning President Obama’s assertion that the U.S. does not pay ransom for the release of Iranian hostages.
This week the Wall Street Journal reported $400 million of a settlement with Iran was delivered, in cash, by plane to Iran, around the time Iran released four American prisoners.
“I actually listened to the president’s seven minutes of trying to describe why he wasn’t trying to pay ransom and it was a painful thing to listen to and he stretched it out a long, long time — and truthfully it was boring,” King says. “But I don’t know how anybody could believe that.”
King says it appears to him Obama paid $100 million in ransom per hostage.
“It walks and talks like a chicken,” King says, “and it is a chicken.”
President Obama yesterday said it “defies logic” to call the payment ransom. Obama Administration officials say the payment settled a decades-long dispute negotiated by an international court at The Hague and the timing was coincidental. King says it was no coincidence.
“This story is a bigger fish story than Hillary’s story that it was the video that caused the fight at Benghazi. I don’t know how anybody can seriously accept that and the president tells us with a straight face: ‘Well, they’re not connected,'” King says. “Of course they’re connected.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has criticized the Obama Administration for sending “bushels and bushels” of cash to Iran. Trump is scheduled to campaign in Des Moines later this afternoon. Rally-goers began lining up this morning, hours before the doors opened at 1:30. Trump, along with his running mate Mike Pence, are scheduled to start speaking to the crowd at 3 p.m.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign held a news conference outside the venue late this morning to criticize Trump for opposing a minimum wage increase.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)