22/08/2016 2:54 PM AEST | Updated 23/08/2016 12:21 AM AEST

GOP Senator: President Obama Is 'Acting Like The Drug Dealer In Chief'

The GOP senator called a $400 million payment to Iran "ransom."

Jeff Haynes / Reuters
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said President Obama was "acting like the drug dealer in chief" in paying a settlement to Iran.

A GOP senator fighting for his seat in a tight race said President Barack Obama was “acting like the drug dealer in chief.”

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) told the State Journal-Register newspaper last week that a $400 million payment to Iran was a “ransom” paid for the release of U.S. prisoners. 

Kirk said:

We can’t have the president of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief, giving clean packs of money to a ... state sponsor of terror. Those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East. .... We’re going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them.” 

The Obama administration said the payment was “leverage,” not a ransom. 

The money was part of a fund Tehran used to purchase U.S. military equipment when the shah was in control of Iran; it was frozen after the Islamic Revolution. The U.S. and Tehran settled a dispute over the money, with Washington agreeing to pay the $400 million, plus $1.3 billion in interest, but delayed that first payment in January by several hours “to retain maximum leverage” until it ensured the release of the prisoners, The New York Times reported.  

On Twitter, a number of people called out Kirk for using racially charged language to insult the president:  

Kirk, who is running against Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, withdrew his support for Donald Trump in June


(h/t Raw Story)