White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, "basically rolled out the red carpet for Iran Deal," despite his 2015 vote against the agreement.
"Senator Corker worked with Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration to pave the way for that legislation and basically rolled out the red carpet for Iran Deal," Sanders said Tuesday during the White House press briefing.
Corker, who serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, opposed the Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration. In response to the negotiation, he helped craft the bipartisan "Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015," which allowed the House and Senate to review the final deal before then-president Barack Obama could waive sanctions imposed on Iran by Congress.
As a result, once the nuclear agreement came to the Senate floor, Corker voted against it. Despite his "no" vote, The deal moved forward after Senate Republicans were ultimately unable to garner enough votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster on the legislation.
"[Voting on a resolution of disapproval] opens the door for the next president to look at this in a very different way. Bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate will have disapproved of what was negotiated," Corker said in a September 2015 statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal.
During Tuesday's briefing, Sanders reasserted that Corker's efforts made the deal possible.
"He may have voted against the deal ultimately, but he not only allowed the deal to happen, he gave it credibility," she said.
When asked again if she stands by her "red carpet" comment, Sanders responded, "I do, I just made it about ten minutes ago."
But the dispute is really more specifically that Mr. Trump is angry about a law that Corker wrote that requires that the president sign off every 90-120 days on whether Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, CBS News Foreign Affairs and White House Correspondent Margaret Brennan points out. The Trump White House has been working behind the scenes to get Corker to alter the law.
President Trump is expected to decline to certify Iran's compliance in the agreement, which would then refer it to Congress. The president is set to deliver a speech on Iran this week.
Sanders' comments on Corker and the Iran nuclear deal are just one component fueling the feud between Corker and Mr. Trump. Most recently, he called the Tennessee senator "Liddle' Bob Corker" in a tweet following Corker's interview with the New York Times in which he said Mr. Trump's leadership style would set the country "on the path to World War III."
Sanders also responded to Corker's words criticizing Mr. Trump.
"Senator Corker is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but he's not entitled to his own facts. The fact is, this president has been an incredibly strong leader on foreign policy and national security. And he's been a leader on this front, and I think that's been seen and demonstrated time and time again since he took office," she said in the briefing, referring to her own opinion refuting Corker as a "fact."