McConnell On ‘Fox News Sunday’

‘It appears as if the administration's approach to this was to reach whatever agreement the Iranians are willing to enter into. So I think it's going to be a very hard sell – if it’s completed – in Congress.’

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on ‘Fox News Sunday’ this morning. The following are excerpts from the interview:

On the Senate’s response to a potential nuclear agreement with Iran:

“We already know that it's going to leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state. We know that. It appears as if the administration's approach to this was to reach whatever agreement the Iranians are willing to enter into. So I think it's going to be a very hard sell -- if it's completed -- in Congress.

“There was another option here I would like to remind people. Rather than spending multiple years trying to get one of the worst regimes in the world to agree to limit their nuclear capability, we could ratchet up the sanctions even further because that's what brought them to the table in the first place. But, the administration chose to go down this path and we're going to be interested in things like will Iranians reveal their past research and development. What have they done in the past on this subject? Is it verifiable? Will we be able to look at all of their military bases? And by the way, even if you're satisfied on all of that Bret, there's all of the other collateral activities and what they're up to in Syria and Lebanon and Gaza and Yemen. Which is not part of it. Apparently the ballistic missile capability, the ability to launch such a weapon to a target is not addressed as well.

“So this is going to be a very hard sell for the administration. They'll have to get at least 34 votes assuming a resolution of disapproval passes. The President vetoes it, he'll have to get at least 34 senators to go forward.”


On whether the Senate would confirm an ambassador to Cuba and lift U.S. sanctions against Cuba:

“Let me quote somebody I rarely quote, former President Jimmy Carter who would be hard pressed to think of any place in the world where we were in better shape than we were when President Obama came to office. President Carter got it right. What this President has been involved in is talking to a lot of countries.

“Talk, talk, talk. Cuba is a good example. He thinks that simply by engaging with them we get a positive result. I don't see any indication that Cubans are going to change their behavior. What are we getting as a result of normalization of relations? I think we will not confirm an ambassador. They believe they don't need that. There are sanctions that were imposed by Congress. I think the administration will have a very hard time getting those removed. This is a policy that there is substantial opposition to in Congress.”


On the administration’s handling of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) cyber attacks:

“It's total incompetence. Complete and total incompetence and the resignation of the head of OPM is just the beginning. This is a total mess. It's no wonder they had a hard time with the websites when they launched Obamacare. These cybersecurity issues are enormously significant. What we're going to do is before August take a step in the direction of dealing with the problem with an information sharing bill that I think will be broadly supported. This is an administrative disaster that the President needs to get a hold of and get straightened out soon.”



Related Issues: Iran, Cybersecurity, Iran Nuclear Deal