President Donald Trump used the controversial Fox News article that was published on Tuesday morning in order to lay blame on his predecessor Barack Obama. Namely, and without any evidence, President Obama allowed 2,500 Iranians the US citizenship which is a part of the nuclear deal negotiations.
Of course, Trump took it to Twitter: “Just out that Obama Administration granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians – including to government officials. How big (and bad) is that?”
Just out that the Obama Administration granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians – including to government officials. How big (and bad) is that?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
Jeff Prescott, a former senior director on Obama’s National Security Council, denied these allegations, calling them “absurd and entirely false.” Prescott was willing to share with CNN the immigration data taken from the Department of Homeland Security which clearly shows how many Iranians were accepted to the country and when. Over the course of years and during both Bush and Obama administrations, the numbers were fairly consistent and without any fluctuations. Prescott added: “There was no connection between the Iran nuclear deal and immigration policy.”
This article was written by Chris Irvine who is a Fox News senior editor, and in it, Irvine cited an Iranian news agency, which cited an Iranian newspaper that quoted an Iranian cleric. It may seem complicated, but the cleric was the one claiming that Obama and his administration actually provided citizenship to 2,500 unidentified Iranians as a part of the Iran Deal.
Interestingly enough, as you scan through the article, near the end, you will find the network’s own commentator and former Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf saying that this is completely made up. According to the story, Fox News wanted to hear from the Department of Homeland Security and State Department, but supposedly they referred from commenting. Later on, they tried to reach former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, but they couldn’t do it.
Before the Fox News article was published, the media gave this “issue” no attention. However, after Fox News, the other outlets followed, including The Daily Mail, The Gateway Pundit and TownHall with similar headlines. The news spread on Twitter as well, and Fox News host Sean Hannity was in charge of it, together with guests David Clarke and Charlie Kirk.
Before Trump noticed the story, it made its way to Fox News’ airwaves on “Fox and Friends First” that airs in the early morning. Furthermore, the story appeared on “America’s Newsroom” later in the morning on Fox News. “It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that this is a case of Donald Trump parroting Fox News, which is peddling the claims of an Iranian hardliner,” Prescott told CNN.
Jake Sullivan, a former Obama official who played a huge part in the talks with Iran regarding the nuclear deal, said that these accusations are “completely false” and that Trump cannot rely on think reports and claims made by Fox News.
“What is interesting about this is that what happened is a hardline crank in Iran just randomly made this comment, Fox News writes a story on it, and then Trump tweets it,” Sullivan said on “The Situation Room.” He continued: “He had every opportunity to call people in his own Department of Homeland Security and State Department to ask whether or not this was true. And they would have told him it wasn’t. Instead, he relies on Fox News. And the scary thing is that he’s increasingly relying on sources like Fox News to get his intelligence rather than the professionals in his own government.”
We are still waiting for a spokesperson for Fox News to respond to a request for comment as well as a White House official. If this is false, it wouldn’t be the first time for the president to tweet the false news. Trump is a controversial figure famous for attacking his political opponents.