Iran Deal Fallout: GOP Senators Demand Obama Fire Ben Rhodes for Duping Media And Congress

By Jonah Bennett Published on May 17, 2016

A letter sent Monday by members of Congress demands President Barack Obama fire Ben Rhodes, a key figure in the White House’s National Security Council, for allegedly duping legislators and journalists about the Iran nuclear deal.

The letter states that Rhodes, who currently serves as deputy national security adviser, “spearheaded the charge to mislead elected lawmakers and the American people about the Iran nuclear deal and the negotiations that led to this agreement,” the Free Beacon reports.

GOP Sens. Mark Kirk, John Cornyn and John Barrasso signed the letter.

“We call on you to dismiss Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes before he further tarnishes the Office of President,” the senators wrote in the letter. “While members of the Executive and Legislative branches may sometimes deeply disagree on issues of vital importance to our nation’s security and prosperity, we should all agree, for the greater good of our Republic and the citizens whom we represent, to engage in our debates in a respectful, honest, and constructive manner.”

“Mr. Rhodes’s disrespectful, deceptive, and destructive conduct has fallen appallingly short of this standard, however,” the letter continued. “Indeed, if he had conducted himself this way in a typical place of business outside Washington, where American taxpayers work, he surely would have been already fired or asked to resign.”

Rhodes intends to skip a House Committee on Oversight hearing Tuesday regarding his activities to systematically mislead the public on the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015. This has infuriated legislators — government officials cited “constitutional concerns” as the reason for the skip. GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said he may subpoena Rhodes if he fails to show.

A profile piece written by David Samuels for The New York Times suggested Rhodes’ pursued a bold and outlandish plan to select mouthpieces in the press to essentially spew the White House’s narrative in order to push the deal.

The foreign policy establishment has nearly unanimously balked. Tom Ricks, who writes at Foreign Policycalled Rhodes an “a**hole” and said “he comes off as an overweening schmuck.”

Over at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg pointed out that the fact he was listed as one of the two main reporters duped by the administration may just reflect a prior feud between him and Samuels, the author of the Rhodes piece.

A piece in The Washington Post denigrated Samuels’ reporting on the issue, declaring the profile “kind of gross.” 

 

Follow Jonah Bennett on TwitterSend tips to [email protected].

Copyright 2016 The Daily Caller News Foundation

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