Donald Trump is making a rare admission he was wrong — in claiming he saw a video of a US 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 US made to Iran 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 US legally owed Iran.
Trump said Wednesday he saw a “top secret” video showing the money being delivered. The campaign acknowledged Thursday that this was incorrect, yet Trump repeated the claim hours later at a rally.
The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2016
“Remember this: Iran — I don’t think you heard this anywhere but here — Iran provided all of that footage, the tape of taking that money off the airplane,” Trump said at the campaign event in Florida. “Right?”
While Trump was apparently referring to a video that showed an exchange taking place in Iran, the exchange actually went down in Geneva, where the four detainees, including Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, were released on January 17.
Soon afterwards, the United States helped airlift $400 million worth of Swiss francs and euros to Iran.
US President Barack Obama’s administration has repeatedly insisted the payment was not ransom for the release of the US prisoners, but a separate settlement to resolve a dispute over a 1979 arms deal that was not fulfilled because of the Islamic Revolution.