WASHINGTON | White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders missed the mark on Tuesday when she accused Republican Sen. Bob Corker of working with Democrats and the Obama administration to make the Iran nuclear deal happen.
A look at the matter:
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2017, file photo, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., speaks to the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce in Sevierville, Tenn. Always one to speak his mind, Corker’s new free agent status should make President Donald Trump and the GOP very nervous. The two-term Tennessee Republican isn’t seeking re-election. And that gives him even more elbow room to say what he wants and vote how he pleases over the next 15 months as Trump and the party’s top leaders on Capitol Hill struggle to get their agenda on track (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)
SANDERS: “Senator Corker worked with Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration to pave the way for that legislation and basically rolled out the red carpet for the Iran deal.”
Her comment follows a series of tweets from President Donald Trump on Sunday going after Corker. One asserted: “He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”
THE FACTS: Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had no role in crafting the 2015 international agreement forged by the U.S. and other world powers to constrain Iran’s ability to build a nuclear arsenal. Corker was a vocal opponent of the accord and argued President Barack Obama should have made the seven-nation pact a treaty subject to approval by the Senate.
Obama refused to do that. That left Congress with the choice of doing nothing or trying to find another way to derail the deal. Corker and other senators wrote legislation to allow Congress to review the nuclear agreement and, if opponents could muster the votes, stop it from moving forward. The bill providing for this review passed both chambers overwhelmingly, with Republican and Democratic votes. The Senate voted 98-1 and the House voted 400-25 to clear the bill. Obama signed the measure into law in May 2015. But the ultimate decision — to bring the deal into effect — was made by Obama, not Congress.
Senate Democrats ultimately succeeded in blocking a Republican resolution to turn aside the nuclear deal. The review legislation, however, required that the president certify every 90 days that Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement. The Associated Press reported last week that the periodic reviews have become a major source of embarrassment for Trump, who pledged during the campaign to tear up the nuclear agreement.