Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump retracted claims he made earlier this week that Iran released a video showing an airplane full of money.
Trump spoke at several campaign rallies this week about an article by the Wall Street Journal that said the United States gave Iran $400 million in cash at the same time that four American soldiers were released from Iran.
“I don’t think you’ve heard this anywhere but here. Iran provided all of that footage, the tape, of taking that money off that airplane,” Trump said at a rally in Florida Wednesday.
“Over there, where that plane landed, top secret, they don’t have a lot of paparazzi, you know, the paparazzi doesn’t do so well over there,” Trump said. “They have a perfect tape, done by obviously a government camera, and the tape is of the people taking the money off the plane,” he said.
“That means in order to embarrass us further Iran sent us the tapes,” Trump said.
Trump reiterated the story at rally in Portland, Maine on Thursday. On Friday morning, Trump said in a tweet that he was mistaken about the video.
“The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!” said Trump in a tweet early on Friday.
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
Trump’s comments on the footage had provided fodder to the democratic campaign. Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine said in an interview on “CBS This Morning” that Trump was “confused.”
“I have no idea what he’s talking about. It doesn’t exist. He might be thinking about Iran Contra from, like, 35 years ago or something like this,” Kaine said.
Trump described the payment of $400 million to Iran as a scandal, saying at the rally in Florida that “we have a President who is frankly incompetent, incompetent.”
“We’ve been humiliated by the Iran deal,” Trump said.
Our incompetent Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was the one who started talks to give 400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. Scandal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2016
On Thursday, President Obama said the payment to Iran, which coincided with the release of four Americans held in Tehran, was not a ransom.
“We announced these payments in January,” said Obama in a live-streamed conference, “It wasn’t a secret.”
Obama said that at the time his administration had explained that Iran had taken claims before an international tribunal and, because of litigation risks, the United States made a $1.7 billion settlement with the country to resolve a decades-old arms deal dispute following legal advice and suggestions.