Monday at the White House press briefing, while discussing Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) teaming up with 47 Republican senators and writing an open letter to Iran’s leaders, press secretary Josh Earnest went after “neocons” using a masked “civics lesson” to push for a “military option” instead of negotiations.
At one point, Earnest called the letter a “back channel” but corrected that when a reporter pointed out the letter was public, but it was when Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry said nowhere in the letter did the Republican senators threaten war or more sanctions, they just demanded a vote on any potential nuclear deal with Iran, Earnest became animated.
Earnest said, “Sen. Cotton has referred to his strategy to undermine this deal as an effort to prevent a diplomatic agreement,” adding, “so it is clear what their strategy is. If they want to mask it as part of a sort of civics lesson they want to share with Iranian political leadership, they are welcome to do that.”
He concluded, “The only option to these sort of diplomatic, to a diplomatic agreement, that any body else has raised is a military option and again, we have seen Republicans time again try to advance the military option ahead of a diplomatic option and the president doesn’t think that’s a good policy. He certainly doesn’t think it’s good strategy, and the truth is, the efforts of neocons in the previous administration to do that frankly hurt the country’s standing around the world.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN