The deadline to renew or reject the Iran nuclear deal brokered by President Barack Obama is approaching, and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) argued Monday it is also time for President Donald’s Trump’s national security team to back his plan to pull out of the deal or get out of the White House.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), or Iran nuclear deal, gave billions of dollars to the terror-sponsoring Iranian regime while not putting an end to its nuclear ambitions.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) spoke with The Global Politico in an article published on Monday about the 2015 seven-nation agreement that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its nuclear program ahead of the October 15 deadline.
The job of Trump’s security team — including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — “is now to move out and execute,” said Cotton, who has advised the president on foreign policy and national security. Politico writes:
Cotton, who has personally advised Trump in recent days about the new Iran strategy he is set to release this week, stopped short of saying either embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson or Defense Secretary Jim Mattis should in fact resign. But his comments were nonetheless a striking acknowledgement of the giant rift that has opened up in the midst of the Trump team over foreign policy.
In Politico’s piece about Cotton, the author speculated about the Iran deal in light of the recent drama playing out in the media about Tillerson’s alleged unhappiness at his post, Mattis’s support for the Iran deal, and the Twitter war between soon-to-be-retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and the president:
Clearly, Tillerson, Corker and other Republicans who are now breaking with Trump over his handling of foreign policy tried to work with him for months – opting for back-stage persuasion and lobbying where Trump’s campaign pronouncements or Oval Office orders differed from the inclinations and recommendations of his foreign policy team.
Meanwhile, Cotton is working with the president ahead of Trump’s announcement later this week on his Iran strategy.
“I would submit that his foreign policy, over these first nine months in office, is much more in keeping with the bipartisan tradition of foreign policy, starting with Truman in 1945 and going through George Bush in 2009, than President Obama’s policy was,” Cotton said in the interview. “In almost every area, in his own way, with his own rhetoric, he has reasserted American leadership, and he’s willing to confront threats before they gather.”
The Global Politico piece reveals that Cotton, however, does not think that the president’s advisers should be acting as rubber stamps.
“When you’re a cabinet member, when you’re a senior advisor in the White House, and the president is right, you should help him achieve his objectives and run with his thinking,” Cotton said. “When you think the president is wrong, you have a duty to try to present to him the best facts and the best thinking to help him see it in a different light.”
“Maybe you can, but if he doesn’t, and he says, ‘No, I want to do it my way,’ then your job is to move out and execute. And if you feel strongly enough, then you have to resign,” Cotton said. Politico writes:
Cotton, who has repeatedly consulted with Trump and other top White House officials in recent days, appears to be on the winning side, pushing Trump to adopt the formula his administration has now settled on of refusing to re-certify the Iran deal to Congress but holding off – for now – asking Congress to blow it up by imposing new sanctions.
Cotton said not re-certifying the Iran deal would send “a very important signal to Congress and to our E.U. plus three partners and to Iran that this president is not going to abide by a disastrous nuclear deal,” adding that the sanctions may not be put into place immediately as diplomacy continues to play itself out.
Global Politico reported Tillerson and Mattis have reportedly signed off on the final plan.