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White House: Obama aide won’t testify on Iran deal

Ben Rhodes’s NYT interview revived debate over Iran deal after he said he created ‘echo chamber’ of media support

In this Feb. 16, 2016 file photo Deputy National Security Adviser For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
In this Feb. 16, 2016 file photo Deputy National Security Adviser For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday that a senior adviser to President Barack Obama won’t testify before a House committee about how he promoted the Iran nuclear deal to the public.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a letter to the House Oversight Committee that allowing deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes to testify would threaten the president’s “ability to receive candid advice.”

Rhodes stirred up controversy last week when he told The New York Times Magazine that he intentionally created an “echo chamber” of supporters to build public support for the nuclear agreement.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Rhodes should have to explain and clarify his remarks.

Eggleston responded that presidents of both parties have invoked executive privilege and declined to allow aides to testify.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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