- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CNN is giving little attention to the story that the Obama administration paid Iran $400 million simultaneously with the release of several American hostages, according to a new study.

The Media Research Center report found CNN’s morning program, “New Day,” covered the alleged scandal with just 27 seconds of airtime. That was when anchor John Berman gave a half-minute newsbreak outlining the story, which was reported on Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, the program dedicated more than 84 minutes to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s various scandals, nearly 200 times the amount given to the Iran controversy.

The Obama administration has denied the money was used to as a ransom to free the American hostages, calling the timing coincidental.

“No, it was not,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday, when asked about the payment. “It is against the policy of the United States to pay ransom for hostages.”

The Wall Street Journal report cited U.S. and European officials, as well as congressional staffers, who said the administration sent the money on wooden pallets in an unmarked cargo plane at the same time as Iran was releasing the hostages.

SEE ALSO: Obama paid Iran $400 million ransom for American hostages: report

The $400 million payout represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the administration reached with Iran over a decades-old, failed arms deal before the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Top Iranian officials said at the time the payout was a ransom.



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