Dem: Rejecting Iran deal would be 'absolute blow' to presidential legitimacy

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyMcConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA MORE is warning that a congressional rejection of the Iran nuclear deal would be an “absolute blow” to presidential legitimacy on the world stage for years to come.


“This would be an absolute blow to the legitimacy of this president, and of any president to negotiate a diplomatic agreement,” the Connecticut Democrat said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“This is an exceptional moment where you have the United States, our European partners, Russia and China all agreeing on a path forward, and if the United States Congress was to override that, I don’t know how any president in the future can ever sit across our allies and adversaries and negotiate a deal.”

Murphy chided Republicans for a “casualness of opposition” given the consequences, and questioned whether the party believes in diplomacy.

“Republicans in Congress just simply don’t believe in the legitimacy of diplomacy as a tool in the toolkit of the American president,” he said.

“They do zero oversight on our war we are fighting right now against ISIS, military engagement in the Middle East, but they do oodles of oversight on a diplomatic agreement with Iran.”

Lawmakers are just beginning what’s likely to be a polarized debate over the controversial nuclear deal. Congress has the power to reject the deal, but that would have to overcome a presidential veto, meaning two-thirds of Congress would have to band together against it.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHouse GOP lawmaker wants Senate to hold 'authentic' impeachment trial Republicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial McConnell: Senate impeachment trial will begin in January MORE (R-S.D.) on the same show pushed back against the idea that Republicans don’t support diplomacy, arguing that the terms simply amounted to a bad deal. He noted that the deal allows for a delay before monitors are able to access potentially secret nuclear sites, and expressed concerns about agreeing to lift arms and ballistic missile embargoes down the road if Iran follows the agreement.

“This is a country that terrorizes the region already and we are going to make it easier for them to do that by lifting the sanctions and giving them tens of billions of dollars, in addition to now having access to the arms that would enable them to do that,” he said.

Thune added that he’s approaching the deal with a “high level of skepticism” and said that his party isn’t against diplomacy, only weak diplomacy.

“It’s got to be strong diplomacy and strong leadership. But that opportunity may have been lost, that window might have closed,” he said.

“The next president is going to have to manage nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, and that’s essentially going to be the legacy of what this deal is.”