Trump believes the Iran deal was handled very badly and sets a dangerous precedent.
STEVE DOOCY: Well I tell you what Donald Trump is joining us right now. Mr. Trump, good morning to you.
DONALD TRUMP: Good morning.
DOOCY: So what do you think about this Iranian deal? We got our people back; they got 100 billion dollars back, and some people who were in big trouble.
TRUMP: Well they’re actually getting 150 billion dollars and we are getting four people back. They’re getting seven plus (and I know you just mentioned it) the fourteen Interpol bad ones, they’re baddies. So they’re getting them, and they’re going to get oil and they’re going to get a lot of other things. They get a lot of things in this deal. It’s always nice to get people back but they’re getting a lot of things in this deal. This is sort of an amazing thing. Actually I’ve been talking about this for years now about how we should have our people back and we shouldn’t be negotiating until we get them. And then I heard they got back and I said “that’s good, finally” and I figured we were just getting them back and I didn’t realize we were giving up so much. We just gave up so much. It’s just such a bad deal. And it’s nice to have our people back but it’s just such a bad deal. It could have been so much better.
ANNA KOOIMAN: So do you think that this is setting a dangerous precedent or do you think the president could and should be taking a victory lap of any sort this morning?
TRUMP: Well it’s setting a very very dangerous precedent Anna. If you look at what’s going on, if you look at the thinking of these people, they’re going to say “well wait a minute we can do this let’s get Anna over here for an interview and let’s never let her come back okay?” They’d be very happy with that. Can you imagine what they’d get for Anna?
KOOIMAN: You’re saying it puts a bounty on American’s heads abroad?
TRUMP: That would be an amazing one right? But no but seriously what we’re doing is anybody that’s anywhere near the region they’re going to start taking Americans and they’re going to negotiate deals. The Persians are great negotiators and they’ve proven it here but they’re great negotiators and there was no reason for this. When we made the deal originally we should have said “we want the prisoners back” and they would have said “no” and we would have just gone on a little bit and we would have said “that’s okay”. You leave the room. They never leave the room. You know the Americans never left the room once. How do you have a deal that…first of all the deal took too long…but how do you have a deal like that? They leave the room and they double up the sanctions. They’ll call you within 48 hours saying you’ve got your prisoners back. And this would have taken place three years ago. I mean they’re babies. They don’t know what they’re doing. This administration, they just don’t know what they’re doing. It’s so embarrassing.
Clinton said she’s proud of her role in the Iran nuclear weapons agreement but that Iran will be held accountable for violations.
CHUCK TODD: And so we begin with Hillary Clinton who joins us from Charleston, South Carolina. Good morning Secretary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Good morning Chuck.
TODD: Let me start with the Iran deal. Yesterday in response to it you immediately said that Iran is still violating UN Security Council resolutions with its ballistic missile program which should be met with new sanctions, designations and firm results. So I guess my question is what do you tell the American public that says “okay you want new sanctions against Iran. They’re still violating agreements and yet what did we do yesterday? We just handed them a hundred billion dollars and we just did a prisoner exchange”. Would you have still done that considering your concerns about their missile program?
CLINTON: Absolutely. Look I have said for a long time that I’m very proud of the role that I played in getting us to the point where we could negotiate the agreement that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But I’ve also said that the way we’re going to hold them accountable is to have consequences when they do anything that might deviate from the agreement or continue to flout the kind of sanctions and mandates that the UN Security Council has put on including on missiles. So I see these as mutually reinforcing, Chuck. I was delighted that the prisoners are on their way home, that’s a good sign. We still don’t see Bob Levinson coming home, there’s more work to be done there. But if the implementation of the agreement which is being done today is to be successful in the way that I expect we’re going to watch Iran like the proverbial hawk and when it comes to the missile program they are under UN Security Council’s sanctions and if they are violating it which the evidence seems to suggest they should be held accountable. They need to know that this is a good step forward with respect to the nuclear weapons program but there are other areas of their behavior that we’re going to continue to be focused on.
TODD: Do you consider Iran a national security threat to the United States?
CLINTON: Well certainly we have lowered that threat because of the nuclear agreement but they continue to destabilize governments in the Middle East. They continue to support proxies and terrorists groups like Hezbollah. They continue to threaten Israel. There are a lot of concerns but what I’ve said for some time now is I’d rather have the nuclear weapons program off to one side and work to make sure they abide by the agreement and then turn our attention to some of these other behaviors that are threatening certainly in the region and therefore cause concern for us.