FOX News contributor and fomer Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Biden's prisoner swap with Iran in exchange for $6 billion will "incentivize" U.S. adversaries to "take more Americans." He told the "The Brian Kilmeade Show" that the U.S. should "punish people who take Americans hostage," not "pay ransom."
On the left US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and the vaccination in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC on May 17, 2021. On the right, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. ((Biden Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images, Khamenei photo by Probst/ullstein bild via Getty Images.)
MIKE POMPEO: Happy to have them home. Terrified of what that means for Americans traveling all across the world. We now have allowed the extortion racket in Iran to grow. We've put a price on American heads, 2 billion bucks apiece. Call it just for simple Kansas math. And we know this. This will incentivize the Iranians, the North Koreans. We've seen what Putin has done. They'll take more Americans. And so the way you get prisoners home is American power. You punish people who take Americans hostage. What we did, we got Pastor Brunson home. We didn't pay a nickel. I brought back three Americans who were imprisoned in North Korea. We didn't pay a nickel. Instead, now we pay ransom. Billion bucks a person. And you can bet that Iran will hold an American before too long. And we now know what the price is.
WHITE HOUSE TOUTS IRAN PRISONER EXCHANGE DEAL, SAYS BIDEN IS 'MAKING FIVE FAMILIES WHOLE AGAIN'
The five American citizens being released in a prisoner exchange with Iran are on their way to the U.S., White House officials have confirmed.
The five Americans and two family members arrived in Doha, Qatar on Monday after leaving Iran. White House officials touted the move as President Biden reuniting families. In the exchange, the U.S. offered up five Iranian prisoners and returned $6 billion in frozen funds for use in Iran.
"The president is making five families whole again," a White House official said Sunday night.
The frozen funds arrived to Qatar Sunday night, which triggered Iran's release. Qatar is serving as an intermediary for negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.
Fox News' Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
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