August 4, 2016 9:19 pm -

Donald Trump continues his made-up story about a tape showing secret footage of the U.S. giving $400 million to Iran. No such tape exists.

Speaking at a rally in Maine on Thursday, Trump claimed that the Iranian government released secret footage it had of the United States transferring $400 million in cash to Iran.

“You know why the tape was given to us? Because they want to embarrass our country,” Trump said. “They want to embarrass our country. They want to embarrass our president. Because we have a president who’s incompetent. They want to embarrass our president.”


First, the $400 million that Trump is referring to was transferred from the United States to Iran back in January, so Trump’s response time is off by about seven months.

Second, the United States wasn’t “giving” Iran money. Rather, the money was the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement resolving an outstanding claim at an international tribunal at The Hague. The United States had kept money it had received from Iran to purchase military equipment before the 1979 Revolution and never returned it. The Hague ruled that it had to do so — plus interest.

In other words, after over 30 years, Iran is finally receiving part of its own money back because international law said it should. This was an issue long before Clinton was Secretary of State and before Obama was president. The United States is not giving Iran money, as part of the Iran deal or otherwise. It’s returning it as part of a legal obligation.

And third, and perhaps most shockingly, this isn’t secret footage from the Iranian government. It’s not even footage of money being exchanged. Trump actually just watched a news segment on Fox News and made up the entire story. The Trump campaign has already confirmed that this is true.

The Washington Post contacted the Trump campaign to figure out what video Trump was referring to. After sending a link to a video broadcast on Fox News of three of the four Americans who were released from prison in Iran in January, campaign spokesman Hope Hicks confirmed that it was.

“Yes,” Hicks told the Post in an email. “Merely the b-roll footage included in every broadcast.”

To recap: Trump saw the blurry footage of the former prisoners walking off a plane in Geneva with bags in their hands and assumed it was top secret Iranian footage of a cash transfer between Iran and the United States.




D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.