On his show Thursday nationally syndicated radio show host Sean Hannity told Senator Tom Cotton that the $400 million given by the U.S. to Iran “makes Fast and Furious” look “like child’s play.”
“This makes Fast and Furious, where we gave guns to cartels and kidnappers and drug dealers, that looks like child’s play,” said Sean Hannity. “We’re talking about the country that has killed Americans both in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Hannity and Cotton were discussing the $400 million the U.S. airlifted to Iran in January, which the White House denied was ransom for the release of American hostages, but admitted could have been used to fund terrorism.
A transcript of Hannity and Cotton’s conversation is below:
Senator Tom Cotton: “Let me just paint, paint a picture for your listeners, Sean. Imagine a man in an undisclosed location with giant piles of euros and francs and rubles and other cold, hard cash, stacking it on pallets, wrapping it in shrink wrap, then they load it on an unmarked airplane, they fly it across international borders and they land in the dark of night and give it away.
“That may sound like a drug cartel or a terrorist organization, but that’s what the Obama administration did with Iran in January when they paid $400 million in ransom for American hostages in violation of common sense and longstanding U.S. policy and what has it given us? Of course, more American hostages and who knows how much of that money has got in the hands of groups like Hezbollah and Hamas?”
Sean Hannity: “You know, this makes Fast and Furious, where we gave guns to cartels and kidnappers and drug dealers, that looks like child’s play because we’re talking about the country that has killed Americans both in Iraq and Afghanistan, that has been fomenting terror against our closest ally or who was our closest ally until this guy became president, Israel, and they’ve been fighting proxy war after proxy war, even more recently supporting the Houthis in Yemen, and they’re battling the Sunnis in Saudi Arabia.
“I mean, they have been the number one state sponsor of terror. Now, if Obama and Susan Rice and John Kerry admit that this money is going to be sent to foment more terror, why would you even consider giving them a penny?”
Cotton: “And how easy will it be for them with straight cash? It’s important that all your listeners understand that. This is not a money transfer. This is not wired money. This is not even cashier’s or traveler’s checks.
“This is cold, hard cash given for ransom. Now the Obama administration has said that it’s not a ransom payment. However, what they say doesn’t really matter. It’s what the ayatollahs believe. And the ayatollahs clearly perceive it as ransom because they have said so publicly.”
Hannity: “Well they said it yesterday. They admitted yesterday—and by the way, Obama’s so close to the Iranians they’re just mocking him.”
Cotton: “And now the Obama administration will not even say if the hostages were released from Iran before the cash landed. That strongly suggests to me that in fact the hostages were not released until the ayatollahs had their greedy little hands on that stack of $400 million.”
Hannity: “Imagine the amount of damage you add to that, what, $150 billion? You know, did you see the report last week that the Iranians as a result of this idiotic deal that Hillary started and Obama followed through on, that they continue to spin their centrifuges, that probably this deal cut the time in half they could build a nuclear weapon, in spite of what they told us?”
Cotton: “And in addition to the vast nuclear infrastructure they still have that will put them on the path to a nuclear weapon, they’ve also continued their reign of terror throughout the Middle East, in places as you said, like Iraq and Syria and Lebanon and Yemen, and they remain the worst state sponsor of terrorism. And this cash that we gave them in January as just a small part of the $100 billion plus they received will allow them to continue that aggressive, maligned behavior even without the nuclear weapon that they’re going to develop in the long run if we don’t change our policy.”