Tom Cotton, a Republican senator from Arkansas, held back little in slamming the White House over the Iran nuclear deal in a Tuesday interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
He said he considers himself “public enemy No. 1” of President Barack Obama’s administration.
The senator made a point of chastising Obama’s deputy national-security adviser, Ben Rhodes.
He has stirred controversy in recent weeks for an unusually honest interview in which he shared details about the meticulous foreign-policy narrative he has helped Obama construct -particularly, how Rhodes says he helped Obama sell the Iran deal.
“Some of the coverage of Ben Rhodes is what happens when you put van drivers and campaign flacks and failed novelists in charge of foreign policy and national security,” Cotton said, taking apparent aim at Rhodes status as an aspiring novelist before joining up with the Obama administration.
“And that chump may think that subsidizing Iran’s nuclear program with millions of dollars is a laughing matter,” continued Cotton, who served in the US Army and fought in the Iraq war. “I don’t think it’s that funny. And if he or anyone else over there had ever been man enough to put on the uniform and pick up the rifle, and have to lead men in dodging Iranian-made bombs, they might not be laughing, either.”
Hewitt played a clip of White House press secretary Josh Earnest lambasting the senator for presenting “a wide range of information about the Iran deal that wasn’t true.”
Earnest pointed to remarks Cotton made that Iran will get $150 billion in sanctions relief – a number the White House says is wildly exaggerated – and that the deal will put the nation on track to obtain a nuclear weapon within 10 years.
The radio host asked Cotton if he thinks Earnest or Rhodes “have a clue” about what’s really going on.
“No, I don’t, Hugh,” Cotton said. “You know, most of who’s left in the administration now are all these yes men and fan boys who were van drivers or press flacks for Barack Obama in Iowa and New Hampshire in 2008.”