The Cable

Trump Flip-Flops on Boeing’s Multibillion Dollar Deal With Iran

Donald Trump’s latest attack on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton seeks to link her support for the Iran nuclear deal to a controversial new agreement between Tehran and Boeing for up to $25 billion dollars in jetliners.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 23: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on November 23, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Trump spoke about immigration and Obamacare, among other topics, to around 14,000 supporters at the event.  (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 23: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on November 23, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Trump spoke about immigration and Obamacare, among other topics, to around 14,000 supporters at the event. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s latest attack on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton seeks to link her support for the Iran nuclear deal to a controversial new agreement between Tehran and Boeing for up to $25 billion dollars in jetliners.

In a press release Tuesday, Trump’s campaign said that Iran, “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, would not have been allowed to enter into these negotiations with Boeing without Clinton’s disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal.”

There’s only one problem with this new line of attack: Trump has repeatedly said one of his main complaints with the Iran deal is not that it allows the Islamic Republic to do business with U.S. corporations, rather, that it doesn’t require Iran to do so. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has said that a savvy negotiator would’ve ensured that Iranian assets unfrozen as a result of the deal would enrich U.S. businesses before any other competitors.

“Iran is going to buy 116 jetliners with a small part of the $150 billion we are giving them … but they won’t buy from U.S., rather Airbus,” he tweeted in January.

In a February town hall hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Trump specifically supported a sale of Boeing planes to Iran instead of the European-based manufacturer Airbus.

“They bought 118 Airbus planes, not Boeing planes. They’re spending all of their money in Europe,” he said. “It’s so unfair and it’s so incompetent.”

“We’re handing over $150 billion. We get nothing,” he added.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

In recent days, the proposed Boeing deal has received strong opposition from Republican lawmakers routinely critical of any engagement between the U.S. and Iran.

“American companies should not be complicit in weaponizing the Iranian Regime,” Reps. Jeb Hensarling and Peter Roskam wrote in a letter to Boeing that was released on Friday.

The deal does not include any military planes, rather, the state-owned Iran Air has expressed a need for medium-haul jets like Boeing’s 737 and long-haul aircraft like the 77 and 787 Dreamliner. The U.S. Treasury has yet to approve the Boeing and Airbus deals.

Though Trump’s attack line contradicts his previous criticisms, it is believed to be a part his campaign’s new rapid response operation that builds the case that the former secretary of state is utterly compromised by her previous dealings with foreign governments, corporations and Wall Street banks.

The campaign said Boeing donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and received $4,000 from the Boeing PAC in 2006 during her Senate race.

“This is another example of Clinton’s pay-to-play governing style,” the campaign said. “She will cut deals with our foreign adversaries as long as they are willing to line her pockets.”

Though the $5 million figure could not be independently confirmed, reports by the Washington Post and Seattle Times have noted the cozy relationship between Clinton and the massive aerospace firm, which has made at least $1 million in contributions to the foundation over the years.

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