The White House has responded to a Wall Street Journal report that it secretly airlifted $400 million in cash to Iran in January at the same time four American hostages were released.

The WSJ reported:

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to [U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation]. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland said.

The report said that the settlement, which resolved claims before an international tribunal in The Hague, also lined up with the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

The White House denied the payment was ransom for the hostages, but part of an agreement going back to the time the Shah was in power.

Marc Thiessen said the deal was obviously a quid pro quo and that the White House's denials were "laughable."

"If it wasn't a ransom deal, why the secrecy? Why send an unmarked plane with wooden pallets filled with Swiss francs and other non-U.S. currency in the dead of night to arrive in Tehran, just by the way, by coincidence, on the very day that the hostages are released?

Thiessen said that since the January payment, Iran has taken more Americans hostage and demanded more money.

Watch more above.