Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ben Whitehead.
Former President Donald Trump blasted President Joe Biden for his decision to give Iran access to billions of dollars as part of a prisoner swap.
On Monday, it was revealed that Biden's secretary of state, Antony Blinken, had signed off on a deal in which the United States would receive five Americans held captive in Iran in exchange for releasing five Iranian prisoners and $6 billion in frozen assets. In a series of posts on Truth Social, the current GOP frontrunner called Biden's move a "terrible deal"
that would lead to terrorism and further provocations against Americans abroad.
"Can you believe that Crooked Joe Biden is giving $6 Billion to the terrorist regime in Iran?"
Trump posted to Truth Social on Monday. "That money [will] be used for terrorism all over the Middle East, and, indeed, the World. This incompetent FOOL is absolutely destroying America."
On Monday, Congress was notified of the deal the Biden administration made with Iran. The agreement includes a blanket waiver allowing international banks to transfer $6 billion from South Korea to Qatar without the possibility of sanctions from the U.S. Once in Qatar's central bank, Iran can request funds to pay for humanitarian goods, The Daily Wire previously reported.
Trump criticized Biden's "audacity"
in announcing the specifics of the deal on September 11 and said that paying for hostages would "lead to kidnapping, ransom, and blackmail against Americans across the globe."
"I freed many dozens of our people from various unfriendly countries and never paid a dime!"
In his series of posts, the former president referenced evangelical Pastor Andrew Brunson, whose freedom he helped secure after being detained for roughly two years in Turkey, in addition to 57 other hostages he says he helped free for "ZERO money."
Trump said Biden's move sets a "TERRIBLE precedent"
and urged the 25th Amendment be invoked. The 25th Amendment sets the framework that allows the vice president and a majority of cabinet members or a body approved "by law"
formed by Congress to strip the president of his authority, according to the National Constitution Center.
"So, lets get this straight! We did a hostage TRADE with Iran. We gave them 5 very tough, smart people that they desperately wanted. We likewise got back 5 people BUT, we also gave them 6 BILLION DOLLARS! How much of a kickback does Crooked Joe Biden get?"
A spokeswoman from the National Security Council defended the deal and said U.S. officials would oversee the use of the funds, calling it a "procedural step"
to ensure humanitarian aid gets to the country.
"As we have said from the outset, what is being pursued here is an arrangement wherein we secure the release of five wrongfully held Americans,"
National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. "This remains a sensitive and ongoing process."
However, in an interview with NBC News's Lester Holt, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said the money "belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money."
The Iranian regime is considered "the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism,"
according to a 2019 report from the U.S. State Department. In 2018, then-President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal and reimposed sanctions against the country. The Biden administration is pursuing a possible revamp of a nuclear deal with Iran, and leaders from the two countries appear to be taking small steps toward "limited, tentative de-escalation,"
according to Deputy Vice President at Nuclear Threat Initiative Eric Brewer.
"top priority" in foreign affairs, according to The New York Times. During his tenure, Americans were freed from North Korea, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran, among other countries.
Numerous other Republicans criticized Biden for the deal with Iran. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the agreement would "entice rogue regimes, like Iran, to take even more Americans hostage,"
and South Dakota Sen. John Thune said it puts Iran into a better position to "develop a nuclear weapon and fund terrorists."