Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate rejects border declaration in major rebuke of Trump Hillicon Valley: Doctors press tech to crack down on anti-vax content | Facebook, Instagram suffer widespread outages | Spotify hits Apple with antitrust complaint | FCC rejects calls to delay 5G auction Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court MORE (R-Ark.) on Sunday slammed the Obama administration for its $400 million cash payment to Iran.


"The administration has consistently stonewalled Congress and the American people. ... We didn't know that it was paid for with bills that could be easily laundered and used for terrorism. ... We didn't know that the Department of Justice opposed it," he said.

"I think it's really shocking to most Americans that the United States government was acting like a drug cartel...stacking cash on a pallet and wrapping it in cellophane and flying it in an unmarked aircraft to give to the world's worst state-sponsored terrorism."

Cotton said there are a lot of questions that need to be answered on the issue.

Last week, reports surfaced that the Obama administration had airlifted $400 million cash in foreign currencies to Iran, with the payment arriving on the same day in January that four American prisoners were released.

The money was the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement that the two countries agreed to regarding an abandoned arms deal from the 1970s.

President Obama has said the payment was not a ransom.

"It doesn't really matter, though, what President Obama says," Cotton said Sunday.

"It matters what the Iranians think, and it matters what dictators, terrorists and gangsters all around the world think and they clearly think that this was a ransom payment."