The Iran Project

Tom Cotton: Trump staff should resign if they oppose Iran strategy

Tom Cotton

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, then-Sen.-elect Tom Cotton, R-Ark. waves at his election watch party in North Little Rock, Ark., after defeating incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. Forty-seven Republican senators warned Monday that any agreement the Obama administration strikes with Iran to limit Tehran's nuclear program may be short-lived unless Congress approves the deal. In an open letter to Iranian leaders, Cotton and 46 other Republicans said that without congressional approval, any deal between Iran and the U.S. would be merely an agreement between President Barack Obama and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Washington Examiner – Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., believes department chiefs who disagree with President Trump and are unable to carry out his new Iran strategy should consider resigning from their posts, according to a report Monday.

“When you’re a Cabinet member, when you’re a senior adviser in the White House, and the president is right, you should help him achieve his objectives and run with his thinking. When you think the president is wrong, you have a duty to try to present to him the best facts and the best thinking to help him see it in a different light. Maybe you can, but if he doesn’t, and he says, ‘No, I want to do it my way,’ then your job is to move out and execute. And if you feel strongly enough, then you have to resign,” Cotton said in a podcast released Monday.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have both advocated against the White House’s forthcoming changes toward America’s approach to Iran.

Cotton, who has advised Trump on the change of course to Iran, said Tillerson and Mattis need to step down if they cannot get on board with the plan.

“They understand they’re not the president,” Cotton said. “Donald Trump is the president. Their job is to advise. His job is to decide. Their job is to make sure he has the best facts, the best thinking, presented to him in an orderly fashion and ready for decision. But he decides and they move out and execute.”

“At root, though, we don’t have secretaries of state and secretaries of defense to make these decisions. We elect a president, who’s democratically accountable to the American people. And they say, in baseball, that the longest 18 inches is the difference between the assistant coach’s seat on the bench and the manager’s seat,” he added.

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