Overnight Defense: Republicans want to see Iran 'side' deals

THE TOPLINE:  National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday acknowledged there "side" agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Rice said the deals involve Iran documenting the military's involvment in its nuclear program, but rejected GOP charges that they were "secret" terms to the nuclear deal.

"We're satisfied with them and we will share the contents of those briefings in full in a classified session with the Congress," she told reporters. "So there's nothing in that regard that we know that they won't know."


Republicans though weren't satisfied, with leaders calling for the White House to hand over those agreements "immediately."

House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader Scaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' MORE (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year Congress must reinstate assault weapons ban MORE (R-Ky.), Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant Cotton2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration Meadows, Cotton introduce bill to prevent district judges from blocking federal policy changes MORE (R-Ark.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday to share those details.

"Failure to produce these two side agreements leaves Congress blind on critical information regarding Iran’s potential path to being a nuclear power and will have detrimental consequences for the ability of members to assess the JCPOA," they wrote, referring to the Iran deal.

The side-deal admission came as Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryLet's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy The Memo: Democrats struggle to find the strongest swing-state candidate 2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster MORE, Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizTwo years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded Biden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher MORE and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE provided separate classified briefings on the deal to skeptical House and Senate lawmakers.

State Department spokesman John Kirby insisted the administration isn't hiding anything.

"There's no side deals. There's no secret deals between Iran and the IAEA that the P5+1 has not been briefed on in detail," he said during a press briefing about the agreement between Iran and world powers.

"These are issues between Iran and the IAEA, these technical agreements are never shared outside the state being questioned in the IAEA. But we have been briefed on them," he told reporters.

WH TO SUBMIT PLAN TO CLOSE GITMO: The White House says it's close to submitting a plan to Congress on closing the Guantánamo Bay military prison.

"The administration is, in fact, in the final stages of drafting a plan to safely and responsibly close the prison at Guantánamo Bay and present that plan to Congress," press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

Closing Gitmo has been a priority for President Obama, but he's been blocked by Congress.

A defense policy bill being combined by House and Senate conferees to send to Congress as early as next week would extend restrictions on detainee transfers, or possibly allow a path for closure if the administration submits a plan to Congress, and it is approved.

Obama has transferred more than half of the prison's 242 detainees, but finding new homes for the final 116 prisoners will be tough, since some cannot be transferred to other countries and others are not eligible to be brought to trial.

FBI: CHATTANOOGA GUNMAN A 'HOMEGROWN VIOLENT EXTREMIST: Federal authorities investigating the gunman who opened fire at two military sites last week in Chattanooga, Tenn., said Wednesday it's too early to tell if he was radicalized.

Ed Reinhold, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation, said during a press conference that officials are treating the gunman as a "homegrown violent extremist."

Reinhold said that it appears the suspect, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old Kuwaiti born citizen, acted alone in the attack that left four Marines and a sailor dead.

Abdulazeez drove up to a military recruiting office shortly before 11 a.m. last Thursday and fired shots without leaving his vehicle, Reinhold said. He then drove to a second military site, where he crashed his car through the gates. A service member then opened fire, according to the FBI.

The gunman responded by shooting into the building, a joint Navy-Marine center for reservists, before entering the facility, where he shot one service member, and four more just outside the building. 

ODIERNO: ISIS COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED IN IRAQ: The Army's top officer said Tuesday it was "frustrating" to watch the gains U.S. troops helped achieve in Iraq unravel with the entrance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and that the chaos "might have been prevented."

"It's frustrating to watch it," Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told Fox News in an exclusive interview weeks away from his retirement after 39 years in the Army.

"I go back to the work we did in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 and we got it to a place that was really good. Violence was low, the economy was growing, politics looked like it was heading in the right direction," he said.

Odierno, who commanded at various levels in Iraq during the war, said "I think it would have been good for us to stay," when asked by Fox News if it was a mistake to pull out.

The Obama administration withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq except for an embassy presence at the end of 2011, after it was unable to secure an agreement with Iraq to offer American forces immunity from Iraqi law.

In 2009, Odierno had recommended keeping 30,000 to 35,000 U.S. troops there after the end of 2011.

"If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have been prevented," he said. "I've always believed the United States played the role of honest broker between all the groups and when we pulled ourselves out, we lost that role."


-- Benghazi panel schedules hearing with top Kerry aide

-- Obama to visit family members in Africa

-- Dem senator: 'Political attacks' blocking female veterans bill

-- Brother of journalist detained in Iran pleads for his release

-- Senate GOP launches preemptive strike against Iran pitch

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