National Security

BEASTMODE: O’Brien Says Only Opponents of Israel-UAE Deal Are Ayatollah and Ben Rhodes

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said Sunday that the only two people who opposed the historic agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates were the ayatollah of Iran and former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes.

"I think getting out of the JCPOA was the predicate for this fantastic deal between UAE and Israel," he said on Meet the Press. "I never thought I would see President Trump being endorsed by Thomas Friedman on this deal and David Ignatius and others. I think the only people who were against the deal were the ayatollah and maybe Ben Rhodes."

While the deal to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE drew widespread praise, Rhodes numbered among its detractors. He dismissed it in a tweet, writing, "This agreement enshrines what has been the emerging status quo in the region for a long time (including the total exclusion of Palestinians). Dressed up as an election eve achievement from two leaders who want Trump to win."

Rhodes advised President Barack Obama on foreign policy and is best-known for his boasts to the New York Times about lying to neophyte reporters about the Iran nuclear deal. He is now an NBC News and MSNBC contributor.

In a deal brokered by the Trump administration, the UAE this week became the third Arab nation—along with Egypt and Jordan—to officially recognize Israel and the first of the Gulf Arab states. Iran, an enemy of both countries, called their accord a "historic mistake."