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Where Obama's $400 million Iran payment story ranks in history of presidential whoppers


Where Obama's $400 million Iran payment story ranks in history of presidential whoppers

WATCH: President Obama isn't the only one who hasn't been 100% clear about the specifics of certain "deals."

After President Obama insisted that the $400 million paid to Iran was not a ransom, a spokesperson for the State Department said it was.

This happened during a press briefing Friday, when State Department spokesperson John Kirby was asked:

"In basic English, you're saying you wouldn't give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?"

"That's correct," he replied.

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In short, days of trying to cover up the payment coincidentally made at around the same time Tehran released four American hostages ended in a big reveal by one of his surrogates.

Prior to this, Pres. Obama had scoffed at the idea that the media would even suggest the United States had paid a ransom for the release of hostages.

Families "know we have a policy that we don't pay ransom," said the president. "This wasn't some nefarious deal."

Kirby did try to classify the $400 million as "leverage" and was then asked by a CNN anchor if leverage was not the same thing as "ransom." He insisted it wasn't during the TV interview.

This isn't the first time a president has committed a whopper in front of the American people.

Whooper-skills -- not the Burger Kind kind --  might even be part of the job description.

Here are six other instances in no particular order of savoriness:

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1. Reagan's Iran-Contra Affair (1987)

Remember the 1980s, when the Reagan Administration sold arms to Iran -- despite an embargo -- in order to release American hostages?

Well, that wasn't legal. Pres. Reagan denied it at first, but later on, in a briefing to the American people, he admitted:

"Our original initiative rapidly got all tangled up in the sale of arms, and the sale of arms got tangled up with hostages."

2. Bush's 9/11 Warnings (2001)

Months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, it became clear that the Bush Administration got many warnings beforehand that a terrorist attack using an airplane as a missile was imminent, but in true American fashion, denied it at first.

Several government officials denied they had intelligence warnings that an attack was coming to the United States.

Then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said at the time: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

Turns out a few governmentt officials could have and did.

3. Obama's "Spontaneous" Benghazi (2012)

Then there was Benghazi. When the attacks unfolded on the Libyan city, the Obama Administration insisted they were "spontaneous" and likely caused by an anti-Muslim video.

What happened in Benghazi was in fact, initially, a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo.
Susan Rice, National Security Adviser

Pres. Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice had this to say in 2012 on NBC's "Meet the Press" when she was questioned about the attacks on the U.S. compounds:

Later on in another "Meet the Press" interview, Rice backtracked.

"That information turned out to be, in some respects, not 100% correct," Rice said.

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I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
Pres. Bill Clinton, 1998

4. Clinton's Lewinsky Affair (1998)

This is probably as whopper-ific as they get. I'll leave you with two quotes from one American president.

Guess which came first.

Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate.
Pres. Bill Clinton, 1998
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The flight that cost them their lives was a volunteer flight.
Pres. Kennedy, 1963

5. Kennedy's Bay of Pigs (1963)

There was also that one time Pres. John F. Kennedy staged a failed overthrow of Fidel Castro. Of course, he blamed it on the Cubans first.

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6. Nixon's Watergate Scandals (1973)

Perhaps the most whopper of the whoppers goes to Nixon, who had a few.

After repeatedly denying wire-tapping the DNC headquarters and multiple other people, Nixon finally came clean.

"People have got to know whether or not their president's a crook," Nixon said during his resignation speech.

I am not a crook.
Pres. Nixon, 1973

Ahh, what a rich American tradition. We can only place our bets on what kind of whopper the next president of the United States will serve its people.

Which do you think was the tastiest presidential "whopper"?

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