The White House appears unwilling to say that senior administration officials did not publicly lie to the public when trying to sell the Iran nuclear deal.
“Can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal?” asked Fox News reporter Kevin Corke.
“No, Kevin,” Earnest replied.
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) May 9, 2016
When asked the question again by Corke, Earnest specified that there was “no evidence” indicating that the administration had done so.
He argued that the success of the Iran nuclear deal was based on “facts” and that Iran was not only unable to acquire a nuclear weapon, but that the national security of the United States was strengthened as a result of the deal.
Critics of the administration, he argued, were “falsely or wrongly” asserted that aspects of the deal had failed.
“I recognize that there is an attempt by those who either lied or got it wrong to re-litigate this fight,” he said. The tactics of the administration in selling the deal were recently highlighted in a New York Times profile of Obama’s senior foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes.
Earnest was also questioned about reports that Iran had test-fired another ballistic missile.
We’re still trying to get to the bottom of what exactly transpired,” Earnest replied. He said it was unclear what happened because statements from the defense minister of Iran assured the world that the launch didn’t happen.
“I think the clearest impact of the successful completion of the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is we can now verify that Iran has not obtained a nuclear weapon,” he said.