It appears that Barack Obama and State Department spokesman John Kirby lied to the American people earlier this month about the $400 million cash given to Iran when they claimed that it was not a ransom payment for the Americans held hostage.
On Thursday, the State Department said that the $400 million cash payment to Iran was contingent on the American prisoners being released despite earlier claims to the contrary.
According to the Associated Press, State Department Spokesman John Kirby said the negotiations surrounding America’s return of the $400 million, which was part of a $1.7 billion deal to settle an arms dispute that dates back to the 1970s, were conducted separately from the prisoner negotiations.
In the State Department’s briefing, Kirby was asked, “In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them the 400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?”
“That’s correct,” Kirby replied.
Earlier this month, Obama said during a press conference at the Pentagon, “We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future,” according to CNN.
The president went on to say, “Those families know we have a policy that we don’t pay ransom.”
“And the notion that we would somehow start now, in this high-profile way, and announce it to the world, even as we’re looking in the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage, and saying to them we don’t pay ransom, defies logic,” Obama said.
Even the State Department’s own spokesman peddled the claim that the cash was not a ransom payment for the Americans.
“We don’t pay ransom. We just don’t pay ransom,” Kirby said in an interview on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” on August 3. “This was not ransom. Any suggestion that it had anything to do with ransom is absolutely and utterly false.”
Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer also said that the $400 million cash payment to Iran wasn’t a ransom for the Americans held in captivity, but “isn’t it great we got back the hostages.”
In a statement provided to The Daily Caller, Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short said, “What the State Department admitted today was the dictionary definition of a ransom payment and a complete contradiction of what they were saying just two weeks ago. It’s time for the Obama White House to drop the charade and admit it paid a ransom to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Hillary Clinton’s support for this dangerous blunder, which has put a price on the head of every American citizen, shows once again she does not have the judgement to be president.”