[From video of White House press conference]:
Josh Earnest: As we were implementing the deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, to resolve other longstanding concerns that we had with Iran, and that included securing the release of five American citizens who had been unjustly detained in Iran, and closing out a longstanding financial dispute.
J.D. Hayworth: Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest, and I don't think there's ever been someone more appropriately named. Think of that name, Josh Earnest, joking about sincerity. So that's the explanation today about the ransom, the ransom the Obama Administration paid out, $400 million dollars given to Iran. You heard Josh Earnest say it was a part of a longstanding financial dispute, even though those American hostages mentioned, or prisoners, were released about the same time that money was given over to the Iranians. Let's discuss it now with an award-winning panel. I'll grant them awards of being just all around great guys, first Skyping in from Holland, Michigan, former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, my old pal from the Hill. Pete's currently a Shillman Senior Fellow for the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He's also the author of the book 'Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya.' And joining us from Newsmax Washington, retired Army Colonel Patrick Murray. He served in Iraq, Russia and at the United Nations. Patrick is the author of the book 'Government Is the Problem.' Donald Trump, gentleman, weighed in on this via Twitter. Let's take a look at what he had to say. He tweeted, 'Our incompetent Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was the one who started talks to give $400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. Scandal!' And we see the tweet right there. Now Pete, typically when lawyers get this going on, it wasn't exactly $400 million dollars. All sorts of different currency, all different denominations, but the bottom line is it was a payoff. It was a ransom, correct?
Pete Hoekstra: That's what I would look at. You know hey, Josh Earnest is talking about – well, you know we closed off this deal, that deal and that deal – you'd think they would have had a major press conference and said: We have started a new road with Iran, we have an Iran nuclear agreement, we've closed out this financial dispute and we've obtained the release of our hostages. And they talked a lot about the release of the hostages, they talked a lot about the Iranian deal, which I still think is a bad deal, but they forgot to ever mention that the day this all happened is they put $400 million in Euros and Swiss Francs on an unidentified plane, unmarked plane, in Switzerland, and they had pallets of money, and they flew it to Iran, and they just happened to forget to tell the American people and Congress. This was a quid pro quo, regardless of what Josh Earnest says.
Hayworth: Well, Colonel, I want you to hear Donald Trump this afternoon at his rally in Daytona Beach, doubling down against this ransom. Let's listen to what Mr. Trump had to say and then I'll get your reaction afterwards.
[From video from Trump rally]:
Donald Trump: In order to embarrass us further, Iran sent us the tapes, right? It's a military tape. It's a tape that was a perfect angle, nice and steady, nobody getting nervous because they're going to be shot because they're shooting a picture of money pouring off a plane. And then you say – where does that money go, who gets that money? I doubt it's the people of Iran, I doubt it. But you say – who gets the money? Then you also say – who's authorized to give cash?
Hayworth: And so there is Trump laying it out, as a guy who has a nose for finance and money. Your reaction, Colonel.
Patrick Murray: Well, if anybody knows publicity, it's Donald Trump. And the Iranians aren't too bad either. And regardless of what Josh Earnest and Barack Obama and this administration say, listen to what the Iranians have been saying. And their Iranian Revolutionary Guard generals have been saying this was explicitly an exchange, we got all of this money from the Americans in order to release these hostages. That's exactly what happened. And in terms of your lead-in, that you mentioned a while ago, that it's not exactly $400 million dollars, that's right. Did you know Justice, our Department of Justice, pushed back on this and said you can't send American dollars to Iran, it's illegal. So what our government, the Obama Administration did was they laundered $400 million dollars of U.S. taxpayer dollars through Europe, through Switzerland, and they gave them Euros and Swiss Francs. And I never would have thought that I would have seen the day that a U.S. administration is actually using taxpayer dollars to fund the world's biggest state sponsor of terror.
Hayworth: And Pete, just quickly, for your reaction on this, laundering funds to pay a ransom, can you imagine how the leftist media would cover this had a Republican president done it?
Hoekstra: I can imagine, and it wouldn't be anything of what we're seeing today – it's almost total silence. You know it was not only laundering money, but remember, J.D., American citizens were trying to lay claim to this money. They were suing Iran for what Iran had done to them. That money is now gone. It's funding terrorism to do more damage to Israel, U.S. and European interests.