A GOP senator fighting for his seat in a tight race said President Barack Obama was “acting like the drug dealer in chief.”
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) told the State Journal-Register newspaper last week that a $400 million payment to Iran was a “ransom” paid for the release of U.S. prisoners. 
Kirk said:

“We can’t have the president of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief, giving clean packs of money to a ... state sponsor of terror. Those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East. .... We’re going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them.” 

The Obama administration said the payment was “leverage,” not a ransom. 
The money was part of a fund Tehran used to purchase U.S. military equipment when the shah was in control of Iran; it was frozen after the Islamic Revolution. The U.S. and Tehran settled a dispute over the money, with Washington agreeing to pay the $400 million, plus $1.3 billion in interest, but delayed that first payment in January by several hours “to retain maximum leverage” until it ensured the release of the prisoners, The New York Times reported.  
On Twitter, a number of people called out Kirk for using racially charged language to insult the president:  

Dog whistle? Try bullhorn.https://t.co/T48h6RbsrK— Leonard Pitts, Jr. (@LeonardPittsJr1) August 21, 2016

Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois just decided to call our first African-American President a “drug dealer in chief.” #racist #gop— John Barber (@jonrob718) August 22, 2016

Definitely not racist: GOP senator calls Obama 'drug dealer in chief' https://t.co/Fyuk0rBTsP— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) August 21, 2016

Not only is Senator Kirk's comment deeply racist, (a black President being called 'drug dealer in chief'? C'mon)) but it's factually wrong.— Sean Byrne (@Schmageggi) August 22, 2016

Obama acting like "drug dealer"? https://t.co/n8hfocZYKo GOP Senator would not use this term if Obama were white. Racist on several levels— Keith Devlin (@profkeithdevlin) August 21, 2016

Hey because that's not a racial dog whistle. NeverTrumper Kirk reasserting his street cred with GOP racists. https://t.co/AnN8X8d4yG— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) August 21, 2016

Kirk, who is running against Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, withdrew his support for Donald Trump in June. 
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