Trump doubles down on Iran ransom video lie: "They want to embarrass our country"

Though his campaign admitted he was referring to the wrong video, Trump kept the conspiracy myth alive one more day

Published August 4, 2016 8:22PM (EDT)

On Thursday, GOP nominee Donald Trump again openly lied to a Portland, Maine, audience about seeing a nonexistent video of U.S. government officials delivering ransom money to Iran in exchange for hostages.

"I woke up yesterday and I saw 400 million dollars ... being flown to Iran," Trump said shortly after bragging about overcapacity turnout at his campaign stops. "Folks, what's going on here? What's going on?"

Trump similarly claimed — during a town hall event in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Wednesday — that he'd seen the video of U.S. officials delivering bags of cash to Iran "this morning," claiming it was released "so that we will be embarrassed."

Trump's campaign, however, swiftly disputed its candidate's claims on Thursday. Spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Washington Post that Trump falsely referred to a January video of a prisoner swap in Geneva, Switzerland.

Hicks called the video, "merely the b-roll footage included in every broadcast."

Trump nonetheless ran with the fiction in Portland on Thursday.

"I wonder where that money really goes, by the way," he continued. "Either in [Iran's] pockets ... or toward terrorism. Probably a combination of both."

Trump maintained that the video "was given to us — has to be — by the Iranians. And you know why the tape was given to us? They want to embarrass our country."

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Geneva Hillary Clinton Hostages Iran Isis Portland Maine