President Donald Trump logged onto his Twitter account on Wednesday and wrote about payments to Iran from his predecessor’s administration. Trump posed a rhetorical question to his followers in his tweet on Wednesday morning.
“The Democrats and President [Barack] Obama gave Iran 150 Billion Dollars and got nothing, but they can’t give 5 Billion Dollars for National Security and a Wall?” the president wrote.
Trump’s assertions deal primarily with an agreement between the Obama administration and the nation of Iran that aimed to halt the latter country’s nuclear program. In return for doing so, international sanctions were lifted from Iran, and a payment to the country that the United States had received in an arms deal was returned to them, as that deal was never fulfilled, according to fact-check reporting from the Associated Press.
The lifting of the sanctions is where Trump is getting the $150 billion figure from — the U.S. didn’t pay out that amount of money, and it certainly didn’t come from the treasury. The payment of $1.8 billion was owed to Iran for several decades prior, as the U.S. hadn’t fulfilled its end of the arms deal (the payment was made before the Iranian Revolution, but arms were not delivered to the nation before the previous government was toppled).
Trump is hoping to use the threat of a government shutdown as leverage to get funding for a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Democrats are opposed to the measure, as are some Republicans, who see it as unnecessary spending for a project that won’t necessarily fulfill what it’s promised to do, which is keep undocumented immigrants out of the country.
According to reporting from the Texas Tribune, smugglers who bring immigrants into the nation say a border wall wouldn’t stop them. Most immigrants don’t enter the United States illegally anyway, and those who are undocumented are more likely to be individuals who simply overstayed their visas rather than crossed the border in an improper way, the Washington Post reported.
Trump on Tuesday went to excessive lengths to make sure people understood his threat of a shutdown to get the wall was real. “I’ll be the one to shut it down. I will take the mantle. And I will shut it down for border security,” Trump said, per reporting from National Public Radio. “I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” he added.