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Congressman Trey Gowdy suggested Congress should “stand up for its right to have questions asked and answered.”
He was livid this week over top White House aide Ben Rhodes‘ refusal to testify before the House Oversight Committee about releasing misleading information to the press while selling the Iran nuclear deal to the American people.
Not that Rhodes wasn’t willing to talk about the issue with his allies in the media.
Rhodes boasted in a New York Times Magazine profile last week that he “created an echo chamber” of experts and journalists willing to tow the White House line, which set off a storm of criticism from GOP lawmakers.
“He’s on record talking about creating an echo chamber with sycophant-ish reporters that will report whatever he wants them to report,” the South Carolina Republican said, stressing that Rhodes should come talk to Congress about it.
Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, who said “there’s still a shroud of secrecy” surrounding the Iran deal, concurred with his colleague, according to the Washington Times.
“You have plenty of time, Mr. Rhodes, to go out and talk to all the media friends and talk to the echo chamber that you brag about in The New York Times, but when it comes time to actually answer hard questions under oath, you decide not to do it,” the Utah Republican said.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest played verbal gymnastics over whether President Barack Obama would claim executive privilege to protect Rhodes and criticized Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who has been a vocal critic in countering Obama administration claims about the Iran deal, the Times noted.
It didn’t help matters that Cotton ripped Rhodes as a “failed novelist.”
Either way, Gowdy was just as upset over the attack on Cotton, pointing out that Cotton served combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq while “Ben Rhodes was navigating the mean streets of a creative writing curriculum.”
“His background is in creative writing,” he added. “That’s great if you’re working for the Hallmark or the Lifetime Channels. It’s not so good when you’re the national security adviser for the president.”
Gowdy appeared Tuesday on Fox News’ “American Newsroom” to discuss the issue:
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