Tim Kaine talks Iran cash transfer, Clinton's relationship with GOP

Hillary Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, will be campaigning in Wisconsin Friday. In a wide-ranging interview, he spoke to "CBS This Morning's" Norah O'Donnell Thursday at his home state of Virginia.

He addressed the controversy surrounding the U.S. cash payment of $400 million to Iran, which Donald Trump claims is ransom for U.S. hostages released around the same time in January. The Obama administration has strongly denied paying ransom.

"If you were vice president, would you allow a plane full of money to land in Iran on the same day that four U.S. hostages are freed?" O'Donnell asked.

"Here's the thing. And Congress was briefed on this months ago. Again, I'm on these committees and we're aware of it. Iran had a sizeable legal claim against the United States that has been pending in international law for a very long time. There was a settlement of that claim. A settlement where the U.S. agreed to pay a fraction of the claim. And yes, the U.S. then paid that claim," Kaine said.

"I understand that, but let's talk about the perception of on the very same day a plane with $400 million in foreign currency landing and being delivered. ... Is that ransom?" O'Donnell asked.

"Perception is one thing. Reality matters more. We got hostages home and we took a legal claim that was a legit claim and bargained it down to a fraction and we paid that claim out," Kaine said. "That's the reality."

"So as vice president, you would do that same deal? If you were vice president you would let it happen?" O'Donnell asked.

"I would negotiate any legal claim that we had and I'd try to get the best deal we could. And I'd also try to get American hostages home," Kaine said.

The Virginia senator, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, also addressed Trump's claims that he saw a video of the cash transfer between U.S. and Iran showing "money pouring off a plane." Trump claimed the Iranian government released the footage to embarrass the U.S.

"I have no idea what he's talking about," Kaine said.

"That video doesn't exist?" O'Donnell asked.

"It doesn't exist. I-- he might be thinking about Iran Contra from, like, 35 years ago or something like this. He recently criticized me saying I was a bad governor of New Jersey," Kaine said.

O'Donnell pointed out Trump may have confused Kaine with Tom Kean.

"Tom [Kean] was the governor of Jersey 26 years ago. I mean, so it hurt my feelings till I realized, 'Wait a minute. I was never governor of New Jersey. I didn't even live in New Jersey.' He was confusing it with a situation from two or three decades ago. Maybe that's what he's doing with this video claim," Kaine said.

"You think Donald Trump is confused?" O'Donnell asked.

"I absolutely think he's confused," Kaine responded.

Campaigning in Kaine's state of Virginia, Trump said he would take care of veterans better than anybody.

"I don't think anybody believes that," Kaine said. "I mean here's what he's done in my home state just in the last two weeks. ... He trashed a Virginia family, the Khan family from Charlottesville, whose son is a UVA grad, who was a hero who was killed. Trashed this Gold Star family. He came to a rally in northern Virginia a couple of days ago and kicked a crying baby out of a rally. And then he had the nerve to say to the crowd, 'Hey, things are going lousy for you here.' This is Loudoun County. Loudoun County has the highest family income in the United States. ... But he told them how bad things were. This is not the way to win friends and influence people, to come into a state, trash military families, trash institutions that people care about and perpetrate sort of a falsehood about the state -- the state of the state's economy."

Kaine also said Trump has "spent his whole life bragging about how he uses every dodge he can to pay as few taxes as he can."

"How do veterans services get supported? They get supported by people like you and me paying taxes because we want to honor their service and sacrifice. A guy who tries to dodge paying taxes is no friend of vets," Kaine said.

"At the Democratic convention, the former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, spoke and he said that Americans need a sane and competent president. Do you think Donald Trump is sane and competent?" O'Donnell asked.

"Oh, I don't know Donald Trump, so I'm not gonna make any comment about mental capacity, et cetera. Why would I do that? I don't know him," Kaine said. "But again, when you say things, they reveal who you are. And when somebody shows you who they are, you oughta trust that."

While the Clinton campaign has embraced President Obama's popularity, Kaine denied that a Clinton-Kaine administration would be a third Obama term.

"And it's not a third Bill Clinton term. It is the first Hillary Clinton term. And it's very, very important that that be the case," Kaine said.

"I think what you're gonna see in Hillary Clinton's choice of people around her when she gets in, is a very clear signal that we're taking advantage of new talent, new ideas, innovative people. Because this is the first Hillary Clinton term and I think she's gonna make that plain from the very first day," he added.

"But how are they different? It's no secret that President Obama has not had the warmest of relations with Republicans in Congress. And as a result, there's been a lot of gridlock on a lot of really important issues facing this country," O'Donnell said. "What would [Clinton] do differently than President Obama?"

"I wouldn't lay the gridlock just at President Obama's feet," Kaine said. "Remember, before he even made his first visit to Congress there was a meeting of Congressional Republican leadership and they said, 'Our top goal is to make him a one term president.' So I think you have the put a good bit of that on Congress' shoulders."

Kaine said he gets along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"But let me tell you what's more important. The number of Republicans who tell me, 'You know, Hillary was actually a really good senator.' They tell me that all the time," Kaine said.

"So you think Hillary Clinton has better relationships with Republicans than Barack Obama?" O'Donnell asked.

"She was in the Senate for eight years and then four years as secretary of state, so she has got 12 years of working together with the Senate," Kaine said. "When the president was elected -- and I'm a big supporter of President Obama and a friend -- he had been in the Senate four years. Two years he was running. So just in terms of the time into the relationships. Yes, on her first day she will have a deeper well of relationships in Congress than President Obama had on his first day."