Has Trump tapped Rand Paul for a mission to the mullahs? Trump says no
Added 07-19-19 12:31:01am EST - “Yesterday, I saw reports that President Trump had agreed to have Rand Paul talk with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, who is in New York City this week for a U.N. conference. The reports struck me as questionable. Is Trump impatient…” - Powerlineblog.com
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Yesterday, I saw reports that President Trump had agreed to have Rand Paul talk with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, who is in New York City this week for a U.N. conference. The reports struck me as questionable.
Is Trump impatient or even disillusioned with his own Iran policy? He might be. Is he unhappy with the advisers who urged him to adopt the policy? If he’s unhappy with the policy, he likely blames his advisers. He never blames himself.
Does Trump want an emissary to serve as a back channel in talks with Iran’s foreign minister? Perhaps. It’s plausible to believe that he might want to deal with Iran through an approach similar to the one he employed with North Korea.
But Rand Paul? I wasn’t convinced that Trump would select as his emissary a figure whose views on dealing with Iran are diametrically opposed to the administration’s current approach.
Today, Trump denied that he has tapped Senator Paul for this role. Asked whether he has requested Paul to serve as his emissary, the president responded: “No I don’t know anything about that other than I have spoken to Sen. Paul, and Sen. Paul is somebody I have a very good relationship with.” Trump added that “if [Paul] had some ideas, I would listen,” but “I didn’t appoint him, no.”
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