Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, depicted GOP nominee Donald Trump as a man who is “absolutely” confused and called Trump’s claims about a video showing a plane full of American cash arriving in Iran “bogus.”
Kaine made the remarks in an interview with CBS News that aired this morning. The Virginia senator commented about Trump’s repeated claims this week that he saw video of a plane arriving in Iran with $400 million from the U.S. This morning, Trump tweeted that he had been referring to video showing American hostages freed from Iran arriving in Geneva. Trump’s tweet acknowledged his mistake although it came after he claimed at two different rallies that he’d seen video of a cash delivery to Iran.
“I absolutely think he’s confused,” Kaine told CBS News.
Kaine said video of the cash payment to Iran doesn’t exist and is a “bogus video claim.”
“He might be thinking about Iran-Contra from 35 years ago or something like this,” Kaine said.
The issue arose after The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the U.S. sent $400 million to Iran at the same time that four American prisoners were released by Iran's government. The U.S. government maintains, as it did at the time, that the payment was related to an old arms deal, but some critics believe it amounted to a ransom.
Trump argued that the $400 million payment gave the perception that the U.S. paid for the hostages’ freedom.
Kaine said: “Perception is one thing, reality matters more. We got hostages home and we took a legal claim, that was a legit claim, and bargained it down to a fraction and we paid that claim off. That’s the reality.”
When asked if he would do the same thing the Obama administration did, Kaine said, “I would negotiate any legal claim we had and I would try to get the best deal we could. I would also try to get American hostages home.”
Although Kaine called Trump confused, he would not comment on whether the real estate mogul is sane and competent enough to be president.
“I don't know Donald Trump, so I’m not going to make any comment about mental capacity,” Kaine said. “I don't know him. But again, when you say things, they reveal who you are. And when somebody shows you who they are, you ought to trust that.”
During his interview with CBS, Kaine disputed those who claim a Clinton-Kaine administration would be a third Obama term.
“It's not a third Obama term. And it's not a third Bill Clinton term. It is the first Hillary Clinton term,” Kaine said. “I think what you're going to see in Hillary Clinton's choice of people around her when she gets in, is a very clear signal that we're taking advantage of new talent, new ideas, innovative people.”
Kaine, who was a co-chairman of President Obama’s White House bid in 2008, said that Clinton would be able to fight the gridlock in Congress because she has better relationships with Congressional members than President Obama did when he entered the White House.
“She was in the Senate for eight years and then four years as secretary of state, so she has got 12 years of working together with the Senate. When the president was elected, and I'm a big supporter of President Obama and a friend, he had been in the Senate four years. Two years he was running,” Kaine said. “Yes, on her first day she will have a deeper well of relationships in Congress than President Obama had on his first day.”