‘It Doesn’t Sound Like a Very Good Negotiation!’ Fox’s MacCallum Clashes With White House Spox John Kirby


On Monday, President Joe Biden’s State Department announced a deal with its counterparts in Iran to release five detainees each, but Iran seemed to get a bonus in the deal: $6 billion released that had been frozen during the administration of former President Donald Trump. On its face, it looks lopsided, which Fox News host Martha MacCallum was quick to point out to National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.

The terms of the deal concerning the $6 billion is that those funds are only used for humanitarian purposes, and the U.S. State Department will have oversight on how those funds are spent. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, however, told NBC News that he will defy those orders and use the funds for whatever he wants. When MacCallum pressed Kirby on how this could ever be considered a good deal for Americans, he reiterated the fact that five American prisoners were coming home, and that was the priority all along:

MacCallum: So, what do you say to those who say, we got five people back, they got five people back, plus we unfroze $6 billion. How is that an even exchange?

Kirby: Well, the first thing I’d say is we’re going to get five people back, five Americans that will be able to come home, be with their families where they belong, and get them out of that evil Evin prison. That’s the main goal here. And sometimes when you when you when you’re going for that, and Americans need to know that we’re going to continue to look out for them over there, it means you’ve got to make some tough decisions, it means you got to make some negotiations and you got to make some compromises. And this is what it took to get these five Americans out.

MacCallum: But it doesn’t sound like a very good negotiation! Wouldn’t “five for five” be a good negotiation?

Kirby: Martha, we’re getting five Americans home. And I think that’s the important thing everybody needs to remember. And I want to go back on you know what [spokesperson] Matt Miller at the State Department said it’s not just $6 billion that the Iranians are just going to be able to write checks to whenever they want. Matt was right. They can only use this money for humanitarian purposes and we will have the ability to stop transactions if we don’t think they’re going in the right direction.

MacCallum: The president of Iran doesn’t think that. You just heard him. He said, “We’ll use that money however we want.”

Kirby: Yeah, he’s wrong. I mean, I don’t know how else to put it. He’s just wrong. That’s not the way the deal has been structured, and that’s not the way these funds are going to get dispersed.

MacCallum: Well, it seems like they got the better end of the deal with five people and $6 billion.

Watch the video above via Fox News.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: