Obama denies Iran payment was ransom. Trump describes mysterious video of cash delivery.

President Obama denies he paid ransom to Iran
(Image credit: AP/YouTube)

At a press conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, President Obama called Donald Trump's warnings of a "rigged" election "ridiculous" — "What does that mean?" he asked. "I've never heard anybody complain about being cheated before the game is over" — said that the Islamic State is losing but will still be able to create "the kinds of fear and concern that elevates their profile," and dismissed claims by Trump and other Republicans that a $400 million cash payment to Iran in January was ransom for four U.S. prisoners freed at the time time.

"We do not pay ransom for hostages," Obama said, asserting that the money was the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement of outstanding, potentially much more expensive claims by Iran, and noting that his administration disclosed the deal in January and the media reported on it. "It wasn't a secret. We were completely open about it," Obama said. "The only bit of news is that we paid cash," he added, explaining that "we couldn't wire the money" because "we don't have a banking relationship with Iran, which is part of the pressure we applied on them."

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