Trump: ‘I brought 58 hostages home … and never paid anything’

Former President Trump is blasting President Biden for his new deal with Tehran that will bring five Americans home after being freed from Iranian prisons.

The five Americans released Monday were freed as part of a deal to grant clemency to five Iranians and unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian oil funds. The White House has reiterated that the payment was not a ransom and emphasized that U.S. taxpayer dollars were not part of the deal, but Republicans have still blasted the agreement.

“I brought 58 HOSTAGES home from many different countries, including North Korea, and I never paid anything. They all understood they MUST LET THESE PEOPLE COME HOME! Toward the end, it got so that countries didn’t even start the conversation asking for money, because they knew they would not get it,” Trump wrote in Truth Social post.

“Once you pay, you always pay, & MANY MORE HOSTAGES WILL BE TAKEN. Our grossly incompetent ‘leader,’ Crooked Joe Biden, gave 6 BILLION DOLLARS for 5 people. Iran gave ZERO for 5. He’s Dumb as a ROCK!” he added.

Trump’s comments echoed concerns from Republicans and even some Democrats who argue it may encourage hostile nations to take more Americans who are traveling abroad. Biden warned Monday that U.S. citizens should not travel to Iran due to kidnapping risks and the threat of arbitrary arrest.

“All Americans should heed those words and have no expectation that their release can be secured if they do not,” Biden said.

Trump labeled the deal as “absolutely ridiculous,” adding that it sets a “terrible precedent” for the future.

“[Buckle] up, you are going to see some terrible things start to happen. The 3 years ago highly respected USA has become a laughingstock all over the WORLD. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. VOTE TRUMP!!” he wrote in a separate post.

Trump has previously criticized the Biden administration for its negotiations on prisoner releases. He called the deal struck by the White House to release Brittney Griner from Russia “crazy and bad.”

He also said that he turned down a deal to release former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who’s been detained by Moscow since 2018, in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout during his time in the White House.

Tags Donald Trump Iran prisoner swap Joe Biden Paul Whelan President Joe Biden