A source “familiar with the meeting” described President Trump as “furious” at Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and other advisers for defending the Iran nuclear deal in a July meeting, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
“He threw a fit,” the source said of Trump. “He was furious. Really furious. It’s clear he felt jammed.”
According to this report, it was National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster who came up with the compromise proposal to decertify the nuclear deal and throw it back to Congress, rather than killing the deal outright.
“The sometimes angry internal debate also provides another illustration of the way in which Trump’s gut impulses and desire for dramatic action have often collided with the subtlety of international diplomacy,” the Washington Post writes.
The Post then sticks up for the deal by insisting it was “never designed to do many of the things Trump criticizes it for lacking,” and arguing that everyone from European leaders to members of Trump’s own party “see it as a valuable tool in stopping an Iranian nuclear bomb.”
Trump’s opposition to the deal is derided as pure political posturing by Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Dean Vali Nasr, who said Trump “doesn’t want to certify that any piece of the Obama strategy is working.”
The WaPo nevertheless proceeds to quote Trump aides who make a strong case that decertification is not just posturing, but rather part of a negotiating process that could lead to new concessions by the Iranians, or new sanctions on them. The strategy is dubbed “decertify, pressure, and fix.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is portrayed as a potential stumbling block for this strategy, because “ally after ally has bent his ear with arguments that the deal should be preserved as it is.” Also, the implication is made that Congress might simply remove the quarterly irritant to President Trump by…