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May 16, 5:55 PM EDT

White House: Obama aide won't testify on Iran deal


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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says a senior adviser to President Barack Obama won't testify before a House committee about how he promoted the Iran nuclear deal to the public.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston says 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 Magazine that he intentionally created an "echo chamber" of supporters to build public support for the nuclear agreement.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz says Rhodes should have to explain and clarify his remarks.

Eggleston responded that presidents of both parties have invoked executive privilege and declined to allow aides to testify.

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