Obama: US Doesn't Pay Ransom for Hostages

President Obama, in response to controversy surrounding the U.S. sending $400 million to Iran, sought to assure Americans that the U.S. does not pay ransom for hostages.
2:32 | 08/04/16

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Transcript for Obama: US Doesn't Pay Ransom for Hostages
Some men were call we announced this payments in January. Many months ago. There wasn't a secret. We we amounts of fraud to all of your. Josh did a briefing on the that this wasn't some. Nefarious real. And at the time we explained. That. Iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal. About that recovering money mayors that we had froze. That. Consequence of its working its way through the international truck you know. It was assessment of oral orders that we were now at a point where there was significant litigation risk and we could end up costing ourselves. And that's what these payments represent. That was sick. We. We were completely open whatever but he about it and it's interesting to me how suddenly this became a story. That's point number one or number two we do not pay. Ransom for hostages. We've got a number of Americans being held all Rommel. I meet with their travels. And it is heartbreaking. And we have stirred up an entire. Section. Of interagency experts who devote all of our time to working with these families to get these Americans up. But those families know that we have a policy that we don't pay ramps. And the notion that we would somehow. Start now. In this high profile way it amounts to the world. Even as were looking. Into the faces of other hostage drama travelers which. Whose loved ones are being held hostage. And and Slater them that we don't pay ransom. Defies logic. So that's point number two we do not pay ransom we've been here and we don't. We won't in the future. Precisely because if we did then we would start encouraging. Americans be targeted much in the same way that some countries the UK plants. End up having a lot more of their citizens. Being taken drivers' groups.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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