Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk has a way with words — and Tuesday, he blasted President Barack Obama for acting more like a “drug dealer in chief” than the commander-in-chief.
That’s what he said in an interview with The State Journal Register, who spoke to Kirk about the Obama administration’s $400 million ransom payment to Iran.
“We can’t have the president of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief,” Kirk, a Republican, said. “Giving clean packs of money to a … state sponsor of terror. Those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East,” Kirk said. “We’re going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them.”
His statements, made Tuesday, came as fellow conservative lawmaker’s promises to keep the heat on the administration by holding hearings on the controversial cash payment in January.
Republicans say the money was ransom to an enemy of American interests. The Obama administration denies this, but their explanations on the secret cash payout have not satisfied critics in and out of Congress.
Republican presidential candidate Trump has begun telling supporters at his campaign rallies that Obama “openly and blatantly” lied about the prisoners. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Obama has set a “dangerous precedent” and owes the public a “full accounting of his actions.”
According to The Guardian, Kirk’s campaign won’t back down from his comments. In a statement, Kirk’s campaign manager Kevin Artl said, “Senator Kirk was referring to the Administration’s decision to send pallets of cash, not even US dollars but euros and Swiss francs, in a clear ransom payment to Iran, world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
“The decision sets an awful and dangerous international standard that should be investigated and the lack of transparency from the Administration clearly indicated they knew their actions were not above board,” Artl said.
Kirk is currently engaged in a tough re-election bid against Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat. The Senate seat is considered one of the most vulnerable Republican heading into November.
Did Sen. Mark Kirk go too far? Or do you agree with his statements? Comment with your thoughts below.
— The Horn editorial team