Fox News' Todd Starnes, of Fox News, who gets paid by Fox News, made several false claims during his speech at the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C. on Friday.
According to RightWingWatch.org, Starnes falsely claimed that President Obama was refusing to do anything about Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American, who is imprisoned in Iran (video below).
“Our President, who travels across the globe apologizing for the United States of America, yet he cannot utter the words ‘Saeed Abedini’ from his lips,” claimed Starnes. “What is our President doing about it? Why isn’t he picking up the phone, talking to his new BFF, the Iranian president? Yet at this very moment an American pastor sits in a Muslim country’s jail and we do nothing about it.”
President Obama has not traveled the globe apologizing for America as Starnes claimed. This same lie was stated by Mitt Romney in 2011 and was debunked by Politifact.org.
Starnes failed to mention that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who represents the Obama administration, adressed Abedini's situation back in March:
I am also troubled by the lack of due process in Mr. Abedini’s case and Iran’s continued refusal to allow consular access by Swiss authorities, the U.S. protecting power in Iran. I welcome reports that Mr. Abedini was examined by a physician and expect Iranian authorities to honor their commitment to allow Mr. Abedini to receive treatment for these injuries from a specialist outside the prison. The best outcome for Mr. Abedini is that he be immediately released.
FoxNews.com reported that Obama did mention Abedini to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in their recent phone call:
A senior administration official tells Fox News that in addition to the issue of nuclear weapons and the broader relationship between the two nations, Obama expressed concern about the pastor—who was been incarcerated for a year at Evin Prison in Tehran —along with two other U.S. citizens.
“Obama also noted our concern about three American citizens who have been held within Iran: Robert Levinson [who is missing], Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati, and noted our interest in seeing those Americans reunited with their families," the official told Fox News.
"We're very encouraged by President Obama raising the illegal imprisonment of American Saeed Abedini with Iranian President Rouhani," Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Saeed's wife Naghmeh and their two children, said when told about the latest development by FoxNews.com.