House committee wants White House aide to testify over Iran comments

House Republicans are asking a White House aide thrust into controversy to testify after he suggested the Obama administration misrepresented the Iran deal to sell it to the public.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, invited deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes on Wednesday to testify at a hearing on the Iran deal, committee spokeswoman MJ Henshaw said. Rhodes was asked to appear at a hearing May 17 at 10 a.m.

The request, first reported by The Hill newspaper, comes after a lengthy New York Times Magazine story about Rhodes included several details and comments from him about how the White House marketed the nuclear deal with Iran, including by creating an “echo chamber” with help from Obama allies.

A White House spokesman, Eric Schultz, responded to Chaffetz’ call by portraying it as an attempt to rehash the merits of the historic agreement.

“The Iran deal was debated and scrutinized for months last year. Republicans had vowed to block it, could not muster the votes to do so, and are now seeking to relitigate that old political fight,” Schultz said. “The facts and substance of the Iran deal are not in question — it has done exactly what we said it would, and the world is a safer place for it.”

Schultz’s statement did not specify whether Rhodes would testify next week.

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