Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) rushed to the aid of Secretary of State John Kerry this morning, claiming that Senate Republicans were impugning his character by noting he got “bamboozled” and “fleeced” in the Iran nuclear deal.
“Not unlike a hotel guest that leaves only with a hotel bathrobe on his back, I believe you’ve been fleeced,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told Kerry today at the top of a hearing to review the deal.
“In the process of being fleeced, what you’ve really done here is you have turned Iran from being a pariah to now Congress, Congress being a pariah,” Corker added.
“With all due respect, you guys have been bamboozled, and the American people are going to pay for that,” Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) later added.
Boxer began her comments by stressing that she does think Congress faces a choice between accepting the deal and going to war with Iran — “at the end of the day, that’s really the option, which everyone tiptoes around.”
“I support the right of my colleagues to say anything they want, but you’ve sat there and you’ve heard two of my colleagues go after you with words that I am going to repeat. You were fleeced, one said. The other said you have been bamboozled,” she said.
“So putting aside the fact that I think that’s disrespectful and insulting, it — that’s their right to do. There are other ways to express your disagreement, but that goes to the — your core as a human being and your intelligence, and I think you are highly intelligent.”
Boxer then added, “My colleagues think that you were fleeced, that you were bamboozled, that means everybody was fleeced and bamboozled, everybody, almost everybody in the world.”
Corker later clarified that not just Kerry had been fleeced, but everyone working on the deal.
“Mr. Secretary, just to ensure that I have appropriately addressed the situation, I want to refrain and say we have been fleeced and not make that a thing that’s directed at an individual,” he said.