Kirby Defends $400M Iran Payout: 'This Was Not Ransom'
State Department spokesman John Kirby joined Bill Hemmer on "America's Newsroom" to defend a $400 million cash transfer to Iran during the release of four Iranian-held U.S. hostages.
Kirby said the money had been frozen in a trust fund in the U.S. for decades and it was "their money."
He asserted that the fact that the transaction occurred during the release of the detained Americans was "coincidental."
Hemmer pressed Kirby, saying that it appears that this cash transfer was kept secret and was effectively a "ransom."
"It looks bad," Hemmer said.
Kirby insisted there was no secret about the payment, stating that President Obama was forthcoming about the money that would be given to Iran when the nuclear agreement was agreed upon.
“We don't pay ransom. We just don’t pay ransom," Kirby said. "This was not ransom. Any suggestion that it had anything to do with ransom is absolutely and utterly false."
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