Sen. Tom Cotton alleged Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s administration officials say one thing in classified briefings with members of Congress and another thing in public to the American people.
“It’s time that the administration came clean and told the American people exactly what they tell Congress in a classified setting,” Cotton insisted.
Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show on Tuesday, Cotton said that he “became public enemy number one at the White House… because I’m telling the truth about the Iran deal.”
On Monday, during the White House press briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest claimed that Cotton “time and time again presented a wide range of information about the Iran deal that wasn’t true.”
Cotton responded, “Look, what you just played, and some of the coverage of Ben Rhodes is what happens when you put van drivers and campaign flaks and failed novelists in charge of foreign policy and national security. And that chump may think that subsidizing Iran’s nuclear program with millions of dollars is a laughing matter. I don’t think it’s that funny. And if he or anyone else over there had ever been man enough to put on the uniform and pick up a rifle and have to lead men in dodging Iranian-made bombs, they might not be laughing, either.”Hewitt said, “The reality of what [the Obama administration] did is arm Iran and give terrorists $150 billion dollars. I don’t even know how anyone argues with the $150 billion dollars in sanctions relief. That’s what the Iranians wanted.”
Cotton continued, “President Obama has put the estimate at times well north of $100 billion dollars. But Hugh, now you’ve got flaks in the White House and John Kerry and other senior administration officials running around saying ‘oh, it’s only $3 billion, it’s only $5 billion.’ This administration has a pattern of telling the truth in classified settings, and then misleading or misinforming the American people in public settings.”
“I sit on the Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee. I have had repeated briefings about the Iran nuclear deal, some just a few weeks old. They come from nonpartisan, professional intelligence analysts. And I can’t tell you the number that they have briefed us recently, but I can tell you it’s a hell of a lot closer to $150 billion dollars than it is to $3 billion dollars,” Cotton claimed.
“Sitting in that briefing was a political appointee named Andrew Exum at the Department of Defense, and any reporter who wants to know should go listen to him, because I gave him a piece of my mind, not because it’s his fault, but he is the political appointee who is there as the representative of administration policy. And it’s time that the administration came clean and told the American people exactly what they tell Congress in a classified setting,” Cotton said. “And the fact of the matter is the amount of sanctions relief is a lot closer to $150 billion dollars than it is to $3 billion dollars.”
Hewitt followed up, “So the administration has a pattern of telling Congress in classified setting something very different from what Josh Earnest says?”
“Yes,” Cotton replied. “And not just on the nuclear deal, on a whole range of national security matters, because they want to conceal just how calamitous their security policy around the world has been for American interests.”