Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Friday that while President Obama might claim otherwise, the whole world knows that a $400 million payment to Iran in January as American hostages were being released was a “ransom.”
“Most Americans are reeling this week with the news that the Obama administration delivered 400 million in cash to the mullahs in Iran on the very day that they released four hostages,” Mr. Pence, the GOP vice presidential nominee, said on NBC’s “Today” program.
“Now, the president … can say that that wasn’t a ransom payment, but the whole world knows that it was,” Mr. Pence said. “And in doing that, in a deal that Hillary Clinton actually initiated with the Iranian mullahs, this president and this administration have endangered the lives of every American on the world stage.”
President Obama said Thursday that the U.S. doesn’t pay ransom for hostages. The administration said at the time that Iran was getting a payment for a decades-old arms deal that hadn’t been completed.
Justice Department officials, though, objected to the timing, fearing it would look like a ransom payment, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Donald Trump, the American people know, is going to provide the kind of leadership that we’re not going to have these kind of moments again on the world stage,” Mr. Pence said.
Asked about recent polls that show Mr. Trump trailing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Mr. Pence said it’s still “very early” in the campaign.
“The only poll that really matters is on Election Day,” he said.