America reacts to alarming reports Obama traded $400 million in cash for Iranian hostages

Republicans fumed and Americans were outraged and alarmed at a report this week that President Obama traded $400 million in cash for Americans held hostage by Iran.

Social media was full of reaction to news that the administration secretly airlifted the money to Tehran at the same time four American were being released by Iran.

The White House followed the furor with statements that the cash was not a ransom paid for the Americans and the timing of the payout was coincidence.

Republican lawmakers were in an uproar over the report, blasting the administration in statements, letters and media.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., demanded an explanation in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

“This report makes plain what the Administration can no longer deny: this was a ransom payment to Iran for U.S. hostages,” Cotton wrote.

The letter asked about the nature of the payment, its timing, currency used and how the settlement money would be used before concluding with a recap of Iran’s history of taking hostages and funding terrorism.

“I am afraid that the cash payment of a $400 million ransom to the ayatollahs makes all of these problems exponentially worse,” Cotton wrote.

In another letter, this one from Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Iowa Republican asked for details on the Justice Department’s role in the transfer.

“These reports are particularly troubling in light of the Department’s continuing failure to cooperate with my inquiry into the FBI’s alleged role in facilitating ransom payments to terrorist groups,” Grassley wrote, noting that “it is my duty to get the facts.”

Other GOP lawmakers slammed the administration and the president.

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Frieda Powers

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