Obama administration spokesman Josh Earnest snaps at CBS reporter Margaret Brennan, asking: “Why is that relevant?” when questioned about the $400 million cash payment (in Euros and Swiss Francs) to Iran. Earnest faced more than 20 minutes of questions about the suspicious nature of this payment Wednesday after details were reported by the Wall Street Journal.
MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS: It would be easy for you to kill the argument [that there is anything suspicious about the payment] by saying this is exactly how it happened and why — not just: Trust us there is nothing shady about a plane arriving in the middle of the night loaded with cash. Which is, you’re saying it is innuendo. Right? You’re saying nothing was done that was not above board. So why not?
JOSH EARNEST, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: I guess the point that I’m trying to make is, we could not possibly have been more transparent about this arrangement than to have the president of the U.S. announce it to all of you on live national television on the day it took place.
BRENNAN: The date the agreement was reached and the intent to pay to $1.7 billion, yes. But the details, you’re saying this is a new detail on an old story. I guess, clarifying the detail is what would help–
EARNEST: But why is that relevant? Why is that relevant? Particularly when we all know there is no banking relationship between the U.S. and Iran, so again
BRENNAN: That is why there was a cash transfer–
EARNEST: I understand the political attacks that are being made by people who are trying to justify their opposition to the deal–
BRENNAN: At a minimum the $1.3 billion is taxpayer money? Don’t people have a right to have an answer to that question?
EARNEST: That’s why we announced it back in January.
BRENNAN: But the details. The transfer was from the trust fund, to this bank, to this bank. Or it had to be in Euros and Francs because we don’t have a banking relationship because it is complicated. That would be a really simple thing that people would be able to follow.