Clinton: 47 GOP Senators ‘Were Trying To Be Helpful To The Iranians’

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
Font Size:

The vast majority of GOP senators are either Iranian agents or saboteurs, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an international audience during a brief press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Her claim was delivered as White House officials rallied Democrats against the GOP’s March 9 letter to Iran’s leaders, which reminded the theocracy that the U.S. Senate provides advice and consent when the administration signs international treaties.

“The recent letter from [47] Republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of American leadership, and one has to ask what was the purpose of this letter,” Clinton told reporters gathered in New York to hear her explanation of the scandal about her private email system.

“There appears to be two logical answers — either these senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians or harmful to the commander-in-chief in the midst of high-stakes international diplomacy,” she declared.

“Either answer does discredit to the letter’s signatories,” she added.

Clinton’s partisan charge contrasts sharply with the Democrats’ professed outrage in February, when Democrats slammed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani after he said that Obama does not love Americans.

“He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country,” Giuliani said.

But Clinton’s claim of GOP betrayal or sabotage closely matches the claims made by her former boss, President Barack Obama, about the GOP letter.

“I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran,” Obama angrily told reporters March 9.

“It’s an unusual coalition,” Obama added, implicitly recognizing the ideological gulf between the GOP’s small-government conservatives and the theocracy’s corps of Islamists, who are confident they can build a perfect heaven on Earth complete with shrouded women, polygamy, apartheid-like inferior status for non-Muslims, and a leadership of unelected guardians.

Clinton’s jarring statement showcases she cooperation between Obama and his fellow Democrats, all of whom have an interest in electing an Democratic to the White House in 2016.

The White House’s angry and incoherent response likely reflects Obama’s anger that his reach for a far-reaching strategic deal with Iran’s theocracy may be blocked by GOP opposition.

Obama has described the draft deal a way for Iran to gain power and legitimacy in the region.

Iran’s theocracy has “a path to break through that [international] isolation and they should seize it,” Obama told NPR in December 2014. “Because if they do, there’s incredible talent and resources and sophistication … inside of Iran, and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules, and that would be good for everybody,” he said.

Since 2011, Obama and his aides have repeatedly accused the GOP of betraying the United States.

For example, in September 2011, Obama told Latino political allies that “if we’re being honest, we know the real problem isn’t the members of Congress in this room. It’s the members of Congress who put party before country because they believe the only way to resolve our differences is to wait 14 months till the next election.”

Follow Neil on Twitter