Fox News host Tucker Carlson grilled Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) Tuesday about the lawmaker's continued support former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran amid claims the Obama administration lied to get the deal passed.
According to a recent Politico investigative report, the Obama White House lied about the Iranian men they released to Iran as part of the deal. Obama claimed the men were Iranian-Americans who allegedly didn't commit terrorism-related crimes. Politico found, however, that the majority of the men were Iranian nationals — not American citizens — who had committed serious national security crimes, such as arms trading and military technology smuggling.
In fact, Obama got the Justice Department to drop charges on 14 wanted fugitives and blocked other law enforcement agencies from apprehending the individuals, Carlson explained. The move outraged many of Obama’s own officials, including those in the Justice Department.
But for a congressman like Swalwell who supported the deal, Carlson wanted to know if the new revelations would have made a difference in whether or not he would have originally supported the deal.
Swalwell said when he announced his support of the deal that he came to his decision after meeting with Obama administration officials in highly classified briefings. At the time, Swalwell said he believed it was the “best deal we could get” in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“Yes, and I still believe that,” Swalwell told Carlson Tuesday, before adding that he wants President Donald Trump to deal with only one nuclear state at a time, citing North Korea.
“That’s one, dodging the question, but in another way you’re assuming the Iran deal mitigated the Iranian nuclear threat. That’s a massive assumption. We don’t know that at all,” Carlson said. “Why do you think the Obama people lied to you about this?”
Swalwell maintained his talking point and dodged the question still, saying that Obama’s Iran deal made the world safer despite the reported lies about the prisoner swap.
“I think they could have done a lot better job … but Tucker, at the end of the day, we are all safer,” he said.
Then Carlson got specific. He asked Swalwell about one of the Iranian nationals released by Obama who was charged with fraudulently obtaining Federal Aviation Administration credentials.
“Why would someone like that get FAA credentials illegally? He got more than two years in prison,” Carlson said. "Why would we let a guy like that go?"
“Tucker, you got the wrong guy if you think I’m going to come here and defend Iran,” Swalwell said.
“But you voted for it,” Carlson shot back. “You say it made us safer. Why would letting a guy like that go free make us safer?"
Swalwell, however, continued to say the deal overall made America safer.
“I’m not saying you’re pro-Iran, what I’m saying is: You were hoodwinked,” Carlson said.
“You got lied to. You admitted you got lied to. You issued a statement saying, ‘I know the truth. I was briefed in a confidential briefing. I asked hard questions to these guys, they told me the truth.’ But they didn’t tell you the truth, they lied to you and I’m just wondering why you would defend that?” Carlson explained.
Carlson’s explanation proved no good.
Swalwell maintained that he supported the deal because it made the world safer by “taking away” a nuclear weapon from Iran, before claiming the Obama administration didn’t “misrepresent” their deal to Congress.
“Of course they did,” Carlson shot back. “They called these guys civilians. The president said these were non-violent offenses, but they were abetting terrorism trying to get military equipment to a terror state. In one case to Hezbollah."
“I think they kinda shafted you in this, don’t you?” he asked.
Swalwell finally admitted that he just “doesn’t agree” with Carlson’s statements.