Pressed by journalist Margaret Brennan on the subject of the 2015 Iran deal, former Secretary of State John Kerry blamed the media for not focusing on President Donald Trump’s false statements about the deal.
“I remember talking to you at the time. Money is fungible,” Brennan said. “Why, though, did you think it was a risk worth taking if you knew the possibility of what would happen with that money?”
“First of all, Margaret, you are an expert in this,” Kerry responded. “You were there. You know the president’s tweet is a lie. The president tweeted this morning because I am coming on the show, and he knew you would ask the question. Or would push you to ask the question. You and the media, I think, need to call a lie a lie.”
The U.S.’ relations with Iran have been front of mind for political pundits and lawmakers in recent weeks following President Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Gen. Soleimani. Iran vowed to avenge his death and last week and launched a series of missile attacks on a pair of U.S.-Iraqi airbases.
“The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” President Trump said in a conference the next day. Republicans on Capitol Hill have repeated a similar line of talking points to attack Obama.
Not much is known about Iran’s military spending, making it virtually impossible to know if U.S. dollars paid for the missiles used in last week’s strike on American bases in the region. President Trump has referred to former President Obama’s overall policy toward curbing Iranian aggression as “a disaster” and claimed the missiles used by Iran were “paid for” by his predecessor.
“John Kerry got caught essentially admitting that funds given ridiculously to Iran were used to fund attacks on the USA,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Only a complete fool would have given that 150 Billion Dollars Plus to Iran.”
Kerry claimed that President Trump has no idea what he is talking about.
“Clearly, money from the budget of Iran is going to go to the IRGC. It always has. That is no surprise,” Kerry said. “The truth is and President Trump — well, he probably doesn’t know this, his own defense intelligence agency, in 2017, testified to the Congress that very, very little money actually went to the IRGC at all.”