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White House Will Not Allow Rhodes To Testify On Iran Deal

The White House, invoking executive privilege, will not let deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes testify about the Iran nuclear deal.

The White House says a senior adviser to President Barack Obama won't testify before a House committee on May 17 about how he promoted the Iran nuclear deal to the public.

Invoking "executive privilege," White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a letter to the House oversight committee that allowing deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes to testify would threaten the president's "ability to receive candid advice."

Rhodes stirred up controversy last week when he told The New York Times that he intentionally created an "echo chamber" of supporters to build public support for the nuclear agreement.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said Rhodes should have to explain his remarks, and had tentatively scheduled a hearing for Rhodes to testify on May 17.

But Eggleston said that presidents of both parties have invoked executive privilege and declined to allow aides to testify on such matters.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP