President Trump claimed without evidence on Wednesday that the Obama administration “paid for” the dozens of ballistic missiles that Iran used to strike an Iraqi-U.S. coalition military base in western Iraq on Wednesday morning.
“Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given 150 billion dollars, not to mention 1.8 billion in cash,” Trump said in the grand foyer of the White House. “Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they chanted ‘Death to America.’ In fact, they chanted “Death to America” the day the agreement was signed. Then Iran went on a terror spree funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.”
“The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” Trump claimed without providing evidence to back his claims.
— Matt Batzel (@MattBatzel) January 8, 2020
“Well first of all Andrea, as you know and as you were just discussing with your colleagues, this is just another series of despicable lies by President Trump,” said former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice when asked by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell to respond to Trump’s claim. “The fact that three and a half years after taking office, or three years after taking office, he remains obsessed with President Obama, just shows president Trump’s extreme weakness and insecurity. The facts about the Iran nuclear deal are that it effectively halted and rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. In the years since the signing of the deal in 2015, up until President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal, abandoning our allies against the advice of his advisors, there were no proxy attacks by Iranian proxies on US personnel in Iraq. There were no efforts by Iran to attack our drones in the Persian Gulf of attack shipping.”
“The nuclear program was under control,” Rice continued. “There were strict verification and inspections. Everybody including the American intelligence community validated that it was being upheld and our forces and presence in the region was secure. President Trump decided recklessly to withdraw unilaterally from the nuclear deal and impose so-called maximum pressure, crippling sanctions, and it was in the wake of that that we found ourselves in this escalatory cycle that’s led to where we are today. A very dangerous moment.”
Asked again to fact-check Trump’s claim that Obama’s nuclear deal paid for the weapons fired at US Troops in Iraq last night, Rice said: “You already fact-checked that. The fact is that’s another lie. The $150 billion dollars, as you pointed out, was Iranian money that was unfrozen as a result of the nuclear deal and they have been complying with the nuclear deal. That’s not America giving Iran $150 billion dollars, quite the contrary. And Iran has had these sophisticated missiles. They’ve been developing their capacity for many, many years. To say that that money funded the attack on our personnel and our base is just the most disgraceful kind of lie of the sort that unfortunately President Trump tells every day.”
Susan Rice: “This is another series of despicable lies by President Trump. The fact that three years after taking office he remains obsessed with President Obama just shows President Trump’s extreme weakness and insecurity.” pic.twitter.com/POtl1E3niI
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 8, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz made a similar suggestion on Hannity last night, saying: “They literally flew $1.7 billion in cash, in unmarked bills, on pallets in the dead of night into Iran. In a very real sense, the missiles that we saw fired at U.S. servicemen and women tonight were paid for by the billions that the Obama administration flooded the Ayatollah with.”