Duckworth: Kirk 'Unhinged,' Hearings On Iran Payment 'Waste'

Aug 23, 2016

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is calling U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk “unhinged'' after the Illinois Republican said President Barack Obama was “acting like the drug dealer in chief.''

Duckworth is challenging Kirk for Senate. Kirk criticized Obama last week over a $400 million cash payment the administration made to Iran contingent on the release of American prisoners.

He says the president shouldn't give “clean packs of money to a ... state sponsor of terror.”

Duckworth spoke Tuesday in Chicago. She agrees with the Obama administration that the repayment of money from an Iranian account wasn't a “ransom.” Duckworth and other Democrats call for Kirk to apologize.

"You can disagree with the President without resorting to the inflammatory rhetoric which is not only offensive, it's totally unhelpful to the cause of a more stable and secure world," Duckworth said.

Kirk says, as chair of the Senate Banking Subcommittee, he will hold a hearing on the payment.

He says taxpayers have a right to know if their money is financing what he calls "Iranian terrorist activities."

Duckworth calls the planned hearings "a waste of taxpayer time and money."

  • Amanda Vinicky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.