GOP Sen. Clarifies Comments About Iran Deal: I Don’t Trust The Ayatollah!

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson talks with reporters following his speech at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in La Crosse, Wis. Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson took swipes at hi... Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson talks with reporters following his speech at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in La Crosse, Wis. Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson took swipes at his newly announced Democratic challenger Russ Feingold on Saturday, alleging he’s unwilling to face the biggest issues facing the country, his signature campaign finance law was an “abject failure” and that he will never hold a leadership position in the Senate. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer) MORE LESS
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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, insisted on Wednesday that he does not trust Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over President Obama when it comes to the nuclear deal, despite comments the senator made at a recent town hall.

During an event in Cerdarburg, Wisc., Johnson suggested that Obama can’t be trusted to relay details about the nuclear deal the U.S. is negotiating with Iran.

“Now, a President who was awarded the 2013 Politifact Lie of the Year, if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period. If you like your doctor you can keep it, period. They lied boldfaced to the American public repeatedly with Obamacare,” Johnson said, according to a clip highlighted by Buzzfeed News.

“I don’t know, I hate to admit it, but in terms of this framework, do I trust President Obama, or do I trust the ayatollah? In terms of what the framework actually says? I’m not so sure I’m trusting President Obama on this,” Johnson continued.

In a statement on Wednesday, Johnson clarified that he does not trust Khamenei.

“The headlines accusing me of saying I trust the ayatollah in Iran are false. Simply reading my actual words in the stories below those headlines shows this. And let me say for the record, I certainly do not trust the ayatollah. I want to trust our president on this subject,” Johnson said in the written statement.

Johnson called on Obama “to be more forthcoming on his negotiations” and “involve Congress fully in developing the agreement.”

Despite his assertion that his recent comments were misreprented, in an interview on May 8, Johnson made a comment similar to his statement at the Cerdarburg town hall.

Johnson said that “you can’t trust Iran and this deal is not verifiable” but said he would trust Iran’s interpretation of the nuclear agreement’s details.

“I would unfortunately have to say, I would believe the Ayatollah’s in terms of what the deal is more than I believe this administration. And that’s a really sad statement to make,” Johnson said in the radio interview.

Listen to a clip from the May 8 interview below:

This post has been updated.

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Notable Replies

  1. Regardless of whether or not he trusts the Ayatollah, his comments were treasonous and anti-American. He should be ashamed of himself for undermining American credibility worldwide - I’m sure his remarks will be well exploited by our enemies, who will capitalize on the fact that elected representatives don’t trust our president.

  2. Teabagger Motto:


  3. Doesn’t fix it at all, you stoopid seditious rat bastard.

  4. Avatar for wwss wwss says:

    I see that the good Senator went to the same school of political fuck-ups as did Jeb “The Bright One” Bush. Open mouth, blather inanities then spend the next couple of news cycles digging your hole deeper … come up for air … resuming digging … etc. etc.

  5. I want to trust our president

    He wants to but, you know…black.

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