NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump is making a rare admission he was wrong in claiming he saw a video of a U.S. cash payment going to Iran.
Trump tweeted Friday that “The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!”
Trump has been expressing outrage about a $400 million payment the U.S. made to Iran in cash this year. It was delivered on the same day that Iran released four Americans they had detained.
Republicans call it ransom; the Obama administration says it was money the U.S. legally owed Iran.
Trump said Wednesday he saw video showing the money being delivered, referring to it as “top secret.” The campaign acknowledged Thursday that this was incorrect, yet Trump repeated the claim hours later at a rally.
“A tape was made, right?” Trump said. “You saw that? With the airplane coming in, nice plane, and the airplane coming in, and the money coming off? I guess? Right? That was given to us, has to be, by the Iranians. And you know why the tape was given to us? Because they want to embarrass our country.”
In an interview with “CBS This Morning’s” Norah O’Donnell, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, addressed the controversy surrounding the U.S. cash payment of $400 million to Iran and Trump’s earlier claims.
“He might be thinking about Iran Contra from, like, 35 years ago or something like this,” Kaine said. “He recently criticized me saying I was a bad governor of New Jersey.”
When asked if he thinks Trump is confused, Kaine responded, “I absolutely think he’s confused.”
President Barack Obama said the timing of the deal was dictated by the assessment of American lawyers, who said waiting could end up costing American taxpayers billions of dollars.
He said, “This wasn’t some nefarious deal” and said the U.S. does not pay ransom for hostages.
The president said the payment was cash because the U.S. has no banking relationship with Iran.
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