Iran deal hearing to expose truth, Rhodes and Bennet silent

DENVER—Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be holding a hearing, “White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” to review the process whereby the Obama administration negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to examine the White House’s communications to Congress and the public. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the Iran deal’s most prominent advocates has remained quiet following the flurry of reports on the hearing.

“Sen. Michael Bennet tried to sell Coloradans the Ben Rhodes-Iran deal lie. Rhodes should be showing up to this committee hearing so the American people can finally know the truth about the Iran deal narrative,” said Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood. “The House Oversight Committee is doing its job by looking into the process behind the Iran deal negotiations and communications, Sen. Bennet should do his job and help get us answers to our questions.”

The hearing comes after a detailed profile piece on the president’s deputy national security adviser, former fiction writer Ben Rhodes. The New York Times Magazine piece quoted Rhodes as saying the White House invented “an echo chamber” to advocate for the deal and enlisted special interest groups and journalists to say things “that validated what we had given them to say.” Rhodes also said that reporters are 27-year-olds who “literally know nothing.”

Rhodes was involved not only in messaging and reprogramming journalists, but was also involved in guiding the deal itself. Despite Rhodes involvement in national security and mass communications surrounding the Iran deal, he will not be attending the committee meeting.

Yesterday, three senators called on President Obama to dismiss Rhodes, saying Rhodes had been “disrespectful,” “deceptive” and dishonest” to the public. Despite an uproar, the White House said Rhodes will not testify about the deal before a House committee, calling it a “separation of powers” issue.  The full letter from the White House to the House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah can be viewed here.

Instead of attending the committee hearing on the Iran deal, Rhodes will be giving a speech to the Center for a New American Security. Featured at the committee hearing will be Michael Rubin, resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Doran, senior fellow with the Hudson Institute, and John Hannah, senior counselor with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Backlash against Bennet for his support of the deal garnered international attention following Advancing Colorado’s six-figure ad campaign including digital, television and social media buys. The video, which garnered press coverage in over 150 media outlets from Israel to New Zealand can be viewed here.

Lockwood added:

“We have continued over the last year to hold Bennet accountable for his support of the dangerous Iran deal and as we move into the future there will only be more questions and more for him to explain. Coloradans deserve to know the process behind the Iran deal negotiations and to what extent Sen. Bennet was involved in the White House’s invention of an echo chamber.”