Donald Trump said Wednesday that he had seen footage of a controversial $400 million cash payment that the Obama administration made to Iran in January. What he actually saw was b-roll footage that has been used in American news broadcasts.
"Iran — I don't think you heard this anywhere but here — Iran provided all of that footage, the tape of taking that money off that airplane," Trump said during a rally in Florida. "This is in cash. In currency."
The businessman himself found it hard to believe that Iranian media had captured the scene.
"Now, here's the amazing thing: Over there, where that plane landed, top secret, they don't have a lot of paparazzi. You know, the paparazzi doesn't do so well over there, right?" Trump said. "And they have a perfect tape, done by obviously a government camera, and the tape is of the people taking the money off the plane. Right?"
The U.S. sent Iran $400 million in foreign currency, stacked on pallets in an unmarked cargo plane, around the time that Iran released four American hostages. The timing of the exchange has resulted in criticism that the administration's payment was for ransom.
Officials have refused to reveal details about the payment.
Trump said that Iran filmed the cash transfer and sent the tapes to the U.S. deliberately in order to "embarrass [America] further."
"It's a military tape, it's a tape that was a perfect angle, nice and steady, nobody getting nervous because they're gonna be shot because they're shooting a picture of money pouring off a plane," he said.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that he was "not aware" of any such video. The footage is thought to be of the January release of three Americans, held hostage in Iran, exiting their plane in Switzerland.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last week that Trump and Hillary Clinton would soon be offered classified national security briefings.