President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, defended the Obama administration's decision to send billions of dollars to Iran through its Iran Nuclear Deal, after she was asked about President Donald Trump saying Wednesday that Iran went on a "terror spree" with the funds the regime received under the deal he has since withdrawn from.
What are the details?
President Trump addressed the nation Wednesday morning about the Iranian missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops the night before. During his speech, the president announced additional economic sanctions against the Iranian regime, citing a litany of aggressions by the country in recent months.
"Iran's hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran Nuclear Deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion not to mention $1.8 billion in cash," the president said in his address.
"Instead of saying 'thank you' to the United States, they chanted 'death to America.' In fact, they chanted 'death to America' the day the agreement was signed. Then Iran went on a terror spree funded by the money from the deal and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq."
President Trump added, "The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration."
Rice was on MSNBC to react to President Trump's speech, and was asked by host Andrea Mitchell to "fact check the $150 billion that went to Iran after the nuclear deal was signed."
"First of Andrea, as you know and as you were discussing with your colleagues, this is another series of despicable lies by President Trump," Rice replied. Appearing to dodge the question, Rice said "the fact that...three years after taking office he remains obsessed with President Obama just shows President Trump's extreme weakness and insecurity."
Rice went on to adamantly defend the Iran Nuclear Deal coordinated by the Obama administration, claiming, "In the years since the signing of the deal in 2015, up until President Trump's unilateral withdrawal abandoning our allies against the advice of his advisers, there were no proxy attacks by Iranian proxies on U.S. personnel in Iraq. There were no efforts by Iran to attack our drones in the Persian Gulf or attack shipping."
The former national security adviser added, "President Trump decided recklessly to withdraw unilaterally from the nuclear deal and to impose so-called 'maximum pressure' — crippling sanctions — and it was in the wake of that that we found ourselves in this escalatory cycle that's led to where we are today."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also said following the Iran attacks Tuesday night that "in a very real sense, the missiles that we saw fired on U.S. service men and women tonight were paid for by the billions the Obama administration flooded the ayatollah with."
The senator pointed out that the Obama administration "literally flew $1.7 billion in cash in unmarked bills on pallets in the dead of night into Iran."
The Obama administration acknowledged in 2016 that its transfer of $1.7 billion to Iran under the nuclear deal "was made entirely in cash." As part of the deal, tens of billions in frozen Iranian funds were released, but according to PolitiFact, "$150 billion is a high-end estimate." The U.S. Treasury Department put the estimate at around $56 billion.