Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed President Obama and Hillary Clinton for the secret $400-million payment to Iran in January that coincided with the rogue nation’s release of four jailed Americans, saying the United States has been “humiliated.”
“We have been humiliated by Press Obama and his policies. We have been humiliated by the Iran deal,” the Republican presidential nominee said at a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida.
He was referring the the administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, which included the $400 million as the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement to resolve a failed arms deal signed before the 1979 Iranian revolution.
The cash payment, shipped to Iran in an unmarked cargo plane in the dark of night, was first reported this week by the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Trump said that the deal with Iran could be traced back Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state when the U.S. opened the negotiations.
“This was all started by Hillary Clinton. Everything was started by her. They relied on her,” he said.
Mr. Trump said that Iran went form a country crippled by sanctions and on the verge of collapse before the deal to a “being a big power” after the deal.
“We have a president who doesn’t know what the hell is going on,” he said.
The White House said the payment was not a “ransom” for the release of the prisoner and that the timing was a coincidence.
“It looks like we paid $400 million for the hostages. Such a bad precedent,” said Mr. Trump. “Two more [Iranian-Americans] have been kidnaped since then.”
The New York businessman described the Iran deal as one of a series of failed policies linked to Mrs. Clinton. He noted that Mrs. Clinton was a driving force in favor of U.S. military intervention to help oust Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which destabilized the country and provided a foothold for the Islamic State or ISIS.
“She should get an awards from them as the founder of ISIS,” quipped Mr. Trump.
He said that Mr. Obama likely wanted a “do-over” in his pick of secretary of state.
Mr. Obama has praised Mrs. Clinton’s service as secretary of state and endorsed her for president.
• S.A. Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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