One of the key Republican talking points this week has been the widely-debunked notion that a $400 million payment to Iran was a “ransom” to secure the release of hostages, when it was actually a repayment of funds that have been in dispute since 1979. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump placed himself at the center of that story by repeatedly claiming he had seen video of the cash transfer, which he was finally forced to admit did not exist.
At a rally in New Hampshire Saturday, Trump revived the story, and instead of hewing to the Republican talking point that Iran would use the money to fund terrorism, Trump decided, for some reason, to say the opposite:
I happen to think a little differently, I think they’re going to steal the money, personally. I think they’re not going to use… I think they’re going to use some for terror, but I would be willing to bet that they steal more than they use for terror.
The timing of the repayment has raised questions, but the reason for it has been well-documented: Iran made the payment in 1979 for an arms shipment that was cancelled when the Shah of Iran was overthrown. Since then, only one U.S. president has paid a ransom to IRan for hostages, and it wasn’t President Obama, it was this guy:
“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”
“Facts and evidence?” What are those?
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.