Obama says no ransom payment was made to Iran and that the cash delivery that coincided with the release of Americans held in Iran was part of a previously announced settlement. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday strongly pushed back against criticism that the administration's payment of $400 million in cash to Iran amounted to ransom in exchange for the release of American prisoners. "We announced these payments in January, many months ago. It wasn't a secret. This wasn't some nefarious deal," Obama said at a press conference at the Pentagon. He said the United States does not pay ransom for hostages and that the money was not linked to the prisoners' release.