US President Barack Obama on Wednesday lashed out at a reporter from a major news outlet who had asked a question about American citizens spending time in Iranian jails while he was negotiating with Iran on the nuclear deal.
“The notion that I am content as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails, Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better,” Obama told Major Garrett, White House reporter for CBS News, who asked the question.
“As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped-up charges that, according to your administration, one whereabouts unknown,” Garrett, who is a seasoned White House reporter, had said.
“Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content, with all the fanfare around this deal, to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?” he asked.
“Last week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said under no circumstances should there be any relief for Iran in terms of ballistic missiles or conventional weapons. It is perceived that was a last-minute capitulation in these negotiations. Many in the Pentagon feel you’ve left the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff high out to dry. Could you comment?” Garret further probed in his question.
“I’ve got to give you credit, Major, for how you craft those questions,” Obama replied.
Obama also argued that the US was not taking pressure off Iran in terms of arms and with respect to ballistic missiles.