Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer invoked Iran on Tuesday in slamming Hillary Clinton for joking Monday she never had to advise former President Barack Obama not to restrict aid to foreign allies for negative information on political opponents in light of President Donald Trump's Ukrainian telephone call.
"Of course not," Fleischer, who served in the George W. Bush administration, said on Twitter. "He was too busy supplying a terrorist nation, Iran, with palettes of cash worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Why extort when you can cave?" Fleischer asked.
Clinton, who served as secretary of state throughout Obama's tenure, responded to a question from late-night host Stephen Colbert referencing reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on Trump's July 25 Ukrainian call.
"How many times when you were secretary of state did you have to say to Barack Obama, 'You can't extort foreign countries to get dirt on your political enemies'?" Colbert, host of "The Late Show," asked Clinton.
"That never happened," Clinton quipped. No."
Fleischer's Twitter post referenced a $400 million cash payment to Iran in January 2016 in exchange for freeing four U.S. hostages in Tehran.
The swap fueled suspicions from Republicans accusations from then-candidate Donald Trump of a quid pro quo that undermined America's longstanding opposition to ransom payments.
Obama administration officials denied the money was paid for the hostages.
The 2015 nuclear deal, considered Obama's signature diplomatic achievement, brought Iran an additional $1.3 billion after it was reached with the United States and five other nations.
President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018, fulfilling a longstanding campaign promise.
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