Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley blasted Secretary of State Antony Blinken as ‘irresponsible’ for claiming there was no connection between the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel and the $6 billion of frozen funds that the U.S. released to Iran as part of a prisoner swap deal.
Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ where she responded to Blinken’s earlier comments that the $6 billion could not have contributed to terrorism and that the U.S. has ‘yet to see evidence’ that Iran supported the attack.
‘I actually think it was irresponsible for Secretary Blinken to say that the $6 billion doesn’t weigh in here,’ Haley said. ‘I mean, let’s be honest with the American people and understand that Hamas knows and Iran knows they’re moving money around as we speak because they know $6 billion is going to be released. That’s the reality.’
Blinken had earlier responded to Republican criticisms on the deal that the Biden administration made with Iran to unfreeze $6 billion in funds in exchange for five U.S. prisoners held in Iran.
‘It’s very unfortunate that some are playing politics at a time when so many lives have been lost and Israel remains under attack,’ Blinken said, arguing that the $6 billion in funds from that account could only be used for medical supplies, food and medicine.
Haley claimed that it was ignorant to think the funds couldn’t be moved around and used for other means.
‘To think that they’re not moving money around is irresponsible,’ Haley said. ‘They hate Israel. They hate America. They are going to continue to use this. It was wrong to release the $6 billion.’
The Hamas attacks have killed at least 600 Israelis and wounded at least 2,000 others as Israel and Hamas fighters continue to battle on Sunday.
Haley further blasted the Biden administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East.
‘It was wrong to go and have that debacle in Afghanistan,’ she continued. ‘It was wrong to waive sanctions on Iran that gave them even more money. Money has been flowing to Iran, and that is the problem, because when Iran gets money, they use it for hate.’