An Angry White House Snaps Over Secret Iran "Hostage" Payment: "Why Is That Relevant"

Tyler Durden's picture

Having been exposed for giving $1.7 billion of US taxpayer money to Iran - coincidental (we are told to believe) with the release of 4 Americans and the signing of the US-Iran nuclear accord - The White House is coming out swinging.

Trump didn't waste any time:

"Our incompetent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the one who started talks to give 400 million, in cash, to Iran. Scandal!" he tweeted.

And then, as RealClearPolitics reports, White House spokesman Josh Earnest today accused critics of the Iran nuclear deal of "lying to the American public" for questioning whether a $400 million cash payment to Iran could have been used to fund terrorism.

Read that again! But Earnest then went on to say that while admitting the cash was handed over, it was also possible it was used for nefarious activities...

"The U.S. continues to have concerns with some of Iran's nefarious activities," Earnest said at a Wednesday press briefing, but analyses proved that Iran used the money to strengthen its currency, pay off debts, and improve infrastructure.


"The president was quite forward leaning in advance of the deal being acknowledged that we know that Iran supports terrorism, we know that Iran supports Hezbollah and the Assad regime, and it certainly is possible that some of the money that Iran has is being used for those purposes too," he noted.


"But the bulk of the money has been going to shoring up their economic weakness, exactly how we predicted."

One quick question - how do you know that?


*  *  *

But Earnest wasn't done - after a 20-minute grilling - snapping at CBS reporter Margaret Brennan, asking: "Why is that relevant?" when questioned about the $400 million cash payment (in Euros and Swiss Francs) to Iran, seemingly not giving a shit about the fact that it's taxpayer money being puked up for nothing..


Clearly adopting the Hillary Clinton "what difference does it make" defense by exclaiming in shrill tone upon being pressed by media:

"But why is that relevant? Why is that relevant? Particularly when we all know there is no banking relationship between the U.S. and Iran, so again"

The Full Transcript is entertaining in the level of denial:

MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS: It would be easy for you to kill the argument [that there is anything suspicious about the payment] by saying this is exactly how it happened and why -- not just: Trust us there is nothing shady about a plane arriving in the middle of the night loaded with cash. Which is, you're saying it is innuendo. Right? You're saying nothing was done that was not above board. So why not?


JOSH EARNEST, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: I guess the point that I'm trying to make is, we could not possibly have been more transparent about this arrangement than to have the president of the U.S. announce it to all of you on live national television on the day it took place.


BRENNAN: The date the agreement was reached and the intent to pay to $1.7 billion, yes. But the details, you're saying this is a new detail on an old story. I guess, clarifying the detail is what would help-


EARNEST: But why is that relevant? Why is that relevant? Particularly when we all know there is no banking relationship between the U.S. and Iran, so again...


BRENNAN: But the details. The transfer was from the trust fund, to this bank, to this bank. Or it had to be in Euros and Francs because we don't have a banking relationship because it is complicated. That would be a really simple thing that people would be able to follow.


EARNEST: None of what you have walked through changes the basic facts here. We acknowledged back on January 17 that there would be all kinds of innuendo hurled by people who oppose engagement with Iran... I recognize the details that you are trying to illicit might make for a colorful news story, but they don't change the facts!


EARNEST: I understand the political attacks that are being made by people who are trying to justify their opposition to the deal--


BRENNAN: At a minimum the $1.3 billion is taxpayer money? Don't people have a right to have an answer to that question?

Still we are sure Trump "intervention" is what will really matter.

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Joebloinvestor's picture

They paid in forign currency because it is against the law to pay in US dollars.

Ergo Barry can say,"Not one US dollar was paid........"

fauxhammer's picture

"Josh Earnest" i.e. "Lies with Straight Face"

ali_baba's picture

At least you got something in return for a one-off payment of 1.7 bn to Iran. What do you get for 3bn that you give to Israel each year? or the 1.3bn to egypt?


Manthong's picture

WTF is it with those disgusting, lawless, unethical Democrats (not that the Republicans are all that much better) ???

Yeah, so how is that relevant and “WTF difference, at this point does it make”?

The difference is that your mask is off and you “people” are demonstrating yourselves to be the cold-blood reptiles that you are.

THAT is why it is relevant and the difference that it makes.


Jeez, I think I just pounded some keys through the keyboard.


Escrava Isaura's picture

Well well well, here we go again, just like yesterday.


The Hedgers hammering at Iran while they have so much in common with Iranians.


Iran has a hollowing economy just like US middle class.

Their biggest asset, oil, devalued just like the US middle class wages.

Iran is fighting the westerns neocons, while the Hedgers are just blogging about it.

Iran tries to sell their oil in gold, again, like the Hedger’s “advice,” but there isn’t enough gold out there to purchase their oil.


Wikipedia: After Iranian banks blacklisted by the EU were disconnected from the SWIFT banking network, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz stated that Iran would now find it more difficult to export oil and import products. According to Steinitz, Iran would be forced to accept only cash or gold, which is impossible when dealing with billions of dollars. Steinitz told the Israeli cabinet that Iran's economy might collapse as a result.


The Hedgers are in a huge conundrum/cognitive dissonance without even realizing it.


Manthong's picture

As you obviously did not read the posts…

The ire is against DC.

Try harder next time.

nibiru's picture

In Obama's deep state 400 mm is just change, Kenyan does everything to eff up this country because he doesn't care - 2nd term is nearly over.


I just hope he will drop the mic forever and take Clinton with her to this orgy island that Bill visited. They can rot there

HowdyDoody's picture

In other news: Clinton was a director of a company that 'donated' $100,000 to ISIS.

Ms No's picture

That ties in well with more people getting set up by handlers for terror plots.  Exposed again but will anybody notice?  The argument that authorities are just letting terror go and proceeding to "allowing no crisis go to waste" has very little to stand on at this point.  This "unsophisticated" or mentally ill theme is constantly reoccurring in combination with the federal handler.  These people have been rearrested and are being handlered again.  Pretty sure they wont be talking.

"Earlier on Friday, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bruce ruled the RCMP manipulated the "unsophisticated" couple into carrying out a plot, saying that they did not have the mental capacity to plan on their own.

It was the first time in Canada that entrapment had been used successfully as a defense in a case involving terrorism charges....

Nuttall and Korody were also led to believe that if they backed out of the plan, they would be killed, according to the ruling."

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Ms No Aug 3, 2016 8:59 PM

You know, I'm sort of surprised that Obama hasn't tried to have the White House painted black and renamed the Black House.  It would be like him to try.


jeff montanye's picture

the man is half white.  he loves white people, especially if they are rich and zionist.  he wants to stand out when he is standing outside.  he doesn't want to have to smile and roll his eyes to be noticed.

Abbie Normal's picture

He's more likely 3/4 to 7/8 white, but in the USA, even 1/8 is enough to label someone black.

NoDebt's picture

You have to hand it to Josh Earnest.  He's WAY better at pretending he actually believes the lies he's paid to tell than that dipshit that came before him.


jeff montanye's picture

he may well be, but apparently either hillary is less convincing or her lightyears long trail of destruction and death has created sufficient dissonance that she is actually driving liberals into voting for trump.  a wise choice imo but still:

fishpoem's picture

Incredible! I mean seriously, is there ANY end to this Clinton shit? And haven't all the traitors over the years sold their souls just for money?

beemasters's picture

Hillary quickly diverted the attention to Russia when her emails were leaked. I for one, would be interested to know how the "secret" payment info was leaked.

Never One Roach's picture

“We know Iran supports terrorism …we know they support terrorist groups…byut we have it to them anyway.”


Similar to crooked Comey listing all of Clinton’s crimes then concluding with “no charges.”


Why did Obama try to hide handing them $400 million if it’s so wonderful?


Is this fucked or am I off base here? It looks like from what Josh himself said, Obama supports terrorism.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Im sure Ill get a lot of flack for this one, but...Yes, I always assume anything that comes out of the obama regime's mouthpiece is a lie, but having said that, isn't this part of a deal reached on money the US supposedly owed Iran for a deal they reneged on back in the 70's? And yes, you can be assured that when the obama admin says the money has nothing to do with the hostages being released on the same day is a complete lie(it came out of this guy's mouth, so thats obvious)... However, isn't 400 million wasted taxpayer dollars a hell of a lot cheaper than the 2 trillion(and counting) we have wasted thus far on our 13 year long Iraq war? Not to mention the thousands of dead and tens of thousands of wounded americans?


As Ive said from the beginning of this deal, while Im sure its not great(it came from the obama regime after all) is it not better than another Iraq, or afghanistan, war, lasting over a decade and costing trillions? Israel and their puppets in congress have been saying Iran was "only months" away from having a nuclear weapon since at least the 90's, and its been bullshit every time. Why do otherwise intelligent people STILL believe them when they say it? I think we have killed enough people(ours and theirs) in that region and wasted enough of our dwindling national treasure in that shit hole.

Pigface's picture

Was this 400 million really US tax payer's money?  I was under the impression that this was Iran's money that the US had frozen and through negociations gave Iran their money back.

NumberNone's picture

We just sent $400mm to the what the Obama State Department called the #1 source of state sponsored terrorism. Does it really matter the source of the funds? We just have sent money to pay for more beheadings, tortures, and possibly more dead Americans in the Middle East.

greenskeeper carl's picture

How many times have you seen iran or their proxies behead someone and post it online? Every single beheading, torture, etc has been done by wahabist sunnis, not shia iranians. Hezbollah was formed by the natives to repel the israelis. Are they nice people? no. But you also don't see them claiming responsibility for any part of the blood bath going on in Europe, either.

SwiffFiffteh's picture

"Hezbollah was formed by the natives to repel the israelis."

I get it that a lot of ZH commenters don't like Israel or Jews, but you don't actually believe that, do you?? The natives??

Never One Roach's picture

Obama's going to build lots of road and bridges with $400 million...but Obama is building them for the Iranians, not for Americans!


Escrava Isaura's picture

Manthong: Try harder next time.




First: Dollar is a keyboard entry after an asset/labor. Not the other way around. Iran has both.

Second: Iran has billions of assets frozen.

Third: Iran is not a terrorist state. Iran is the one being terrorized.


So, $1.7 billion “keyboard” dollars to buy influence/goodwill in the second largest oil reserve in the world is an smart investment for America.


Librarian's picture

to buy influence/goodwill

Let's talk about that.

Doesn't this presumes that the recipient understands that particular connection intended by the giver?

Doesn't this also presumes that the money went to the correct recipient/recipients?

Given the gross and embarassing errors in the foundational presumptions of US foreign policy over the past 40 years, please explain to me why these most basic questions should not be examined extremely closely?

Can you say with absolute certainty that this money went to where it was supposed to go?

Why should I just trust "our betters" that this won't ultimately be another replay of the scenario where Lucy pulls the ball away again at the last moment before Linus' kick-off?

What can you say or infer at this time about this hushed-up bribe with any level of certainty?

RichardParker's picture

The Iran nuke deal is a joke.

For fucks sake, the Americans sent a social worker to negotiate the terms.


Flagit's picture


Once again they sent A MOTHER FUCKING JOOO!!!!!

Might as well have sent a Rabbi drinking blood from a goblet made from the skull of a Palestinian child.

What? Too much truth for ya?

Never One Roach's picture

She has formerly worked as a social worker, the director of EMILY's list, the director of Maryland's office of child welfare, and the founding president of the Fannie Mae Foundation.


... hard to believe this shit.

zeronetwork's picture

I think  the news is that Iran refused to take US$ but demanded Swiss, french and German currency, in cash.

SwapThis's picture

"Third: Iran is not a terrorist state. Iran is the one being terrorized."  -  Your credibility has now dropped to zero sir

Escrava Isaura's picture

Your history and geopolitical is running amok.

Do you see any Iranian warships off the coast of Europe and US?

Do you see Iranian missiles shooting down commercial flights in Europe or US?

Iran supports Hamas in Palestinian, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. These organizations are mild compared to Saudi Arabia government, ISIS, Mujahidin, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban, Al-Nusra Front.


My advice to you? Stop drinking the Cool-Aid “propaganda” and do some research before commenting.


The world is a complex, and complicated place.



Scuba Steve's picture

Better not let the middle-class in charge of things ...

You mutherfuckers are all dead if that occurs.

I'm with him.

HopefulCynic's picture

And votes say that yours is even lower. 

Scuba Steve's picture

Fuck that.

Nuke Iran.

Kill 2 birds with 1 stone ... 1) raghead idiocy eliminated, 2) the crater allows drilling to be cheaper.

Tall Tom's picture





She attempted a redirection hijack


Fuck the Obama dictatorship.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Every US President from now on will be more dictator than the previous.

Irrelevant of which political party.


jcaz's picture

Not gonna happen.  Escrava and his 89 IQ is maxed out as it is........

HopefulCynic's picture

Look I dislike the Us government and the US mentality of exceptionalism, military strenght, BLM, and every other idiotic thing, I especially dislike Obama for his authoritarism. But isn't this supposed to be Iranian money that was owed to Iran? Probably I am wrong, I just do not follow this deal thing, because there shouldn't have to be one in the first place. 

3Wishes's picture

He dosn't get it ! Iran could be the good guys ;)

ack's picture

Oy vey. ZIO-scum having a bad day. Tick-tock. 

Publicus_Reanimated's picture

You left out the most obvious similarity:  ZHers and Iran want to wipe the other off the face of the earth.  That, my friend, is why it is relevant.

beemasters's picture

You would think it would be easier to wipe someone off without telling him, wouldn't you?
It's always been more effective do it covertly like Mossad: 'By way of deception, thou shalt do war.'

delacroix's picture

"wipe zionism from the pages of history" is a more accurate translation.

Librarian's picture

On the other hand, fervently wishing something to be true, doesn't make something more true than it was before.

So, my failure to fall in line as an immediate yes-man is hardly the same thing as harboring a congnitive dissonance.

Obviously the goals at play here are much broader than simply whatever amount of bribe money paid to a foreign government or members of a foreign government.

Does this 'facilitating payment' guarantee some particular outcome which fits in with the US foreign policy goals vis-a-vis European energy policy for the next 50 years?

Are the current US foreign policy goals for European energy policy for the future even 'sound' and are they in the best interests of the US or rather just for an elite few?

When large amounts of money are moved below the radar of public perception a certain presumption or "bad optic" as they say now, is created.

It's simply a statistcal truism that such secretive financial transactions are seldom if ever are for any honorable purposes.


Escrava Isaura's picture

There are no more human honorable purposes to Western intellectuals than at the time of Genghis Khan. Only the religion spin “propaganda” is different.

The only salvation the elites seek offshore is to grab as much as they can, thus keeping their stagnating home population off their throats.

Once the offshore cycle ends, it means, no more oil in the tank, and no chicken on the table, you let us know what you think will come next.


tyrone's picture

Hmmm.. the $400 mil was CONVERTED INTO other denominated currencies, ie. euros, yen, lire, marks, whatever,

just because something about $USD cannot be used.  So that brings up a few questions:

1. what exchange rates was used to convert $USD into each of the assorted currencies?

2. was each of those exchanges performed AT THE CURRENT GOING RATE for that currency?  No?  why not?

3. were there any unbiased US observers watching every one of these transactions, and taking notes FOR PUBLIC PERVIEW?  No? (I didn't really think so)

I mean, there have to be at least a few MILLION US taxpayers who deserve to know all the excruciating details.


UnKeynes's picture

I expect that the $400MM in foreign currencies will prove to have been paid for via BITCOIN or another cryptocurrency,
SO THAT TPTB will have a PRETEXT for DISMANTLING such systems.