There are lies, and then there are White House lies.
In what appears to be an effort to protect President Obama, the White House will not allow senior advisor Ben Rhodes to testify before the House on the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has launched a fierce investigation into the behind-the-scenes events that led to the Iran Deal after Rhodes essentially admitted that the White House manipulated the press to get the deal done.
During an interview with the New York Times, Rhodes bragged the White House had deceived the public, by creating an “echo chamber” to distribute a false narrative surrounding the deal.
As of Monday afternoon, Chaffetz was planning on Rhodes testifying before the House on Tuesday at the “White House narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal.”
Late Monday, Chaffetz got word from the White House that Rhodes would not be attending, citing what appeared to be an executive privilege-related claim, Fox News reported. Rhodes’ appearance “threatens the independence and autonomy of the President, as well as his ability to receive candid advice and counsel.” For those reasons, W. Neil Eggleston, White House counsel continued, “we will not make Mr. Rhodes available to testify.”
Rhodes may get out of testifying, but three Sens. Mark Kirk, R- Ill, John Coryn, R- Texas, and John Barrasso, R- Wyo, are keeping the pressure on.
“We are deeply disturbed to read … Rhodes’s public admission to The New York Times that he 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 senators wrote in a letter sent to Obama Monday, The Hill reported.
The senators are pressing the president to “dismiss Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes before he further tarnishes the office of president.”
Given Rhodes’ “executive privilege” to get out of testifying, his firing seems highly unlikely.