President Donald Trump expressed his displeasure with former President Barack Obama’s $1.7 billion payment to Iran.
In January 2016, Obama gave Iran a $400 million cash payment, which was criticized as “ransom” since it was paid on the same day Iran released four American prisoners.
By the end of 2016, two more payments were made for a total of $1.7 billion, but the administration initially denied it was anything other than settling a dispute over a 1979 failed arms deal.
“We announced these payments in January. Many months ago,” CNNreported Obama said. “They were not a secret. It wasn’t a secret. We were completely open with everybody about it.”
The New York Times reported in August 2016, former State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. “took advantage of the leverage” of the cash payment to make sure hostages “got out safely and efficiently.”
While there is more than one criticism Trump has about his predecessor’s policies, on Sunday, he tweeted that there’s one he’s “never gotten over”:
Never gotten over the fact that Obama was able to send $1.7 Billion Dollars in CASH to Iran and nobody in Congress, the FBI or Justice called for an investigation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
He marveled at how Obama sent a massive payment to Iran and “nobody in Congress, the FBI or justice [department] called for an investigation.”
During his presidential campaign, Trump called it “insane” and said making the payment set “such a bad precedent.”