McCain: GOP letter to Iran not 'most effective' response

McCain: GOP letter to Iran not 'most effective' response
© Greg Nash

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases MORE (R-Ariz.), one of the signers of the controversial letter to Iran’s leadership, admitted Tuesday night that the letter might not have been the way to express frustration that President Obama isn’t working with Congress on nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

“What that letter did was tell the Iranians that whatever deal they make, the Congress of the United States will play a role,” he said on Fox News’s “On the Record with Greta van Susteren.”

“Maybe that wasn’t the best way to do that, but I think the Iranians should know that the Congress of the United States has to play a role in whether an agreement of this magnitude.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonTikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week Hillicon Valley: FTC rules Cambridge Analytica engaged in 'deceptive practices' | NATO researchers warn social media failing to remove fake accounts | Sanders calls for breaking up Comcast, Verizon Bipartisan senators call on FERC to protect against Huawei threats MORE (R-Ark.) led the group of 47 GOP senators who signed the letter, which warned Iranian leadership that any deal that didn’t have congressional input could crumble in future years. A number of Democrats and foreign policy experts criticized it for trying to undermine the president.

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and former Secretary of State presumed presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE are among the high-profile Democrats who have publicly bashed the letter.

McCain blamed increasing partisanship for the conditions that spawned the letter. He pointed out the president’s unilateral action on immigration and normalizing the diplomatic relationship with Cuba as proof that the president has bucked working with Congress.

“It’s also symptomatic between the total lack of trust that exists now between we Republicans and the president,” he said.

“This has established a poisoned environment here which sometimes causes us to react maybe in not the most effective fashion.”