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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Tom Cotton

  • U.S. Senator (R-AR): 2015 –
  • Former Congressman (R-AR): 2013 – 2015

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is a leading proponent of aggressive U.S. foreign policies whose views often combine right-wing Republican populism and neoconservativism.[1]Observers have highlighted the financial backing he has received from influential “pro-Israel” megadonors and his close association with hawkish ideological factions.[2]

Although a steadfast supporter of Donald Trump, Cotton sometimes appears to contradict the president. For example, after Trump alleged in early 2017 that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election, Cotton said that he was unaware of any evidence supporting the accusation and that he preferred “to deal with facts.”[3]

Cotton supported Trump during the 2016 presidential contest, including when candidate Trump staked out views at odds with the senator’s agenda, like on U.S. policy on Russia. Reacting to Trump’s campaign comments praising Vladimir Putin and threatening to back out of NATO, Cotton “bobbed and weaved,” as one journalist put it, claiming that as soon as Trump began getting classified briefings as the GOP candidate he would “have a different perspective on Vladimir Putin and what Russia is doing to America’s interests.”[4]

Commented The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg: “As one of the Senate’s stalwart young conservatives, and as a leading new voice among Republican hawks, [Cotton] could have, at any moment, told the truth: A Donald Trump presidency will be a danger to national security. But instead, like so many other elected officials who should know better, he abdicated.”[5]

It was widely expected that when Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Cotton would be nominated to take the place of Tillerson’s anticipated successor, Mike Pompeoas director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). But when Pompeo was nominated to replace Tillerson, it was Gina Haspell, rather than Cotton, who was tapped to replace him.

Several theories were proposed as to why this happened, but the most prevalent was that Cotton felt the job was not attractive because it would not enhance his own presidential aspirations and because he feared Trump would not win a second term. One journalist observed, “But the strange case of Tom Cotton and the CIA is emblematic of Trump’s struggle to attract, as he loves to say, the best people. It is a fierce ouroboros: Trump’s incompetence feeds his struggle to recruit his preferred candidates.”[6]

Cotton has been described as someone who has been able to bridge Trump voters and more traditional Republicans. Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s key political adviser, told a reporter, “Cotton is not like a Steve Bannon, who wants to blow up the existing structure, uproot the ideology of the Republican Party and replace it with something new. He’s a rising star. He’s capable of building bridges within the Party. He wants to get things done.” Yet Bannon told the same reporter, “How many guys in town can give a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations and also get kudos in the pages of Breitbart? The answer is, one guy.”[7]

On Iran

Cotton has been at the forefront of opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. In October 2017, he told the Council on Foreign Relations, “The sensible course, then, is to decline to certify the deal, begin the work of strengthening it and counteracting Iranian aggression, with the threat of sanctions and military action if necessary.” Shortly thereafter, President Trump did decline to certify Iranian compliance with the deal, even though no evidence had been presented, by the United States or any other party, to indicate non-compliance.

Cotton then outlined the course of action he wished to pursue.  In so doing, he unintentionally highlighted the main objection supporters of the deal had to the various attempts to “fix the deal”—namely that these attempts all excluded Iran from any negotiations and failed to address how Iran was to be convinced to agree to new terms that were less than what existed under the 2015 deal.

“If the political branches, working on a bipartisan basis on the parts of the deal we all know are flawed, we will have the strong and unified front between Democrats and Republicans, and between Congress and the president, that the Iran deal never enjoyed,” Cotton said. “That unity will help the president forge a unified position with our allies—not only the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, but also Israel and our Arab allies. Then it will be Russia and China who must choose between a stronger deal and being isolated and in league with the ayatollahs.”[8]

From the beginning, Cotton was among the more ardent opponents of negotiations with Iran. In the years leading up to the July 2015 agreement, he made various attempts to derail diplomacy and increase pressure on Tehran. In 2013, for example, he attempted to add an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill that would have “automatically” punished family members of individuals who violate Iran sanctions with sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Referring to their crimes as “corruption of the blood,” Cotton included in the family category “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids.”[9]After the amendment drew objections from members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Cotton withdrew it.[10]

In December 2014, Cotton said during a panel discussion at the Foreign Policy Initiative that the United States should sell Israel the advanced aircraft and bombs it needs to be able to effectively attack Iran.[11]

Cotton was the architect of a controversial March 2015 open letter to Iran that was signed by 47 Senate Republicans. The letter, which purported to explain to Iran’s leaders that any nuclear agreement with the United States would not last past the Obama administration, spurred widespread criticism and scorn.[12]

Later, in 2017—at a time when the Trump administration was being cautioned against undermining U.S. credibility in diplomacy by withdrawing from the deal—Cotton told an audience, “I wrote a letter to the ayatollahs at the time, joined by 46 of my colleagues, cautioning them that the next president or Congress could alter or unwind any deal that wasn’t a treaty. They foolishly didn’t heed our warning. They should have.”[13]

Ali Gharib of The Nationwrote, “Cotton, a Harvard-educated lawyer, got his U.S. Constitution wrong (an ‘embarrassing’ error, wrote one Harvard law professor and former George W. Bush administration lawyer) and failed to even mention that his threat to withdraw from an agreement would be a violation of international law—something Iran’s foreign minister, in an epic bit of trolling, brought to his attention”[14]

Added former CIA analyst Paul Pillar: “Probably the single most remarkable—and egregious—aspect of the Cotton letter is that it was blatantly and expressly designed to damage U.S. credibility. In the future, it will lack credibility for any signatory of this letter to complain about alleged damage to U.S. credibility regarding anything else.”[15]

Cotton candidly stated that his aim was to sabotage the nuclear negotiations with Iran and prevent an agreement from being reached. Speaking at the right-wing Heritage Foundationin January 2015, he said: “But, the end of these negotiations isn’t an unintended consequence of Congressional action, it is very much an intended consequence.” Cotton has also called for working towards the installment of “a pro-Western regime” in Iran.[16]

Cotton was again widely ridiculed in March 2015 after he told Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer that Iran controls Tehran. “They already control Tehran, increasingly they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad and now Sana’a as well,” Cotton said during the interview.[17]One observer said in response: “Tehran, of course, is the capital of Iran. In effect, the Republican senator was lamenting Iranian dominance of Iran, concerned that Iranians ‘control’ the capital of their own country.”[18]

In April 2015, Cotton drew intense condemnation when he argued that a U.S. attack on Iran “would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days [of] air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior.”[19]A contributor to The Nationresponded saying that Cotton’s notion about a war with Iran “smacks of the prediction neoconservative hawks made about the Iraq war: that it would be a ‘cakewalk’…Astoundingly, given how that war played out, this isn’t the first time neoconservative ideologues have dismissed the complexity, difficulty and potential consequences of a new war against Iran.”[20]

Soon after the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers was announced in July 2015, Cotton lambasted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, claiming he had “acted like Pontius Pilate.”[21]Cotton also stated that the congressional vote on the Iran deal will be a “weighty decision,” but added that “it’s also not a hard one: the United States should reject this deal.”[22]

Despite the historic breakthrough in negotiations, Cotton reiterated his claim that military force can be used to effectively destroy Iran’s nuclear program. “You can destroy facilities. I don’t think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the U.S. military is not capable to setting Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero,” he said in an interview with Israeli reporters.[23]

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) responded saying: “Senator Cotton said this week that we could bomb Iran back to day zero if we took a military route to divorcing Iran from a nuclear weapon. Let’s get back to reality for a second about what a military strike would mean. You can set back Iran’s nuclear program for a series of years, but you cannot bomb Iran back to day zero unless you are also prepared to assassinate everyone in Iran who has worked on the nuclear program. Why? Because you can’t destruct knowledge. You can’t remove entirely from that country the set of facts that got them within two to three months of a nuclear weapon.”[24]

In the lead up to the Congress’s vote on the Iran deal in September 2015, Cotton travelled to Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “There is no one better to discuss the impact of a nuclear Iran, both in the Middle East and in the world,” he said after his meeting with Netanyahu. “I will stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel and work with my colleagues in Congress to stop this deal and to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself against Iran and its terrorist surrogates.”[25]

Cotton has wildly claimed that the Iran deal would risk a “nuclear attack” on the United States. He opined in August 2015: “This deal, whether it’s breached or whether it’s followed, is putting us on a path to a second nuclear age in which the risks of nuclear war are much greater. And the risk of a nuclear attack against the United States and our interests, whether by a nation-state or a terrorist organization that’s been provided or has obtained nuclear material is much greater.”[26]

Foreign Policy Militarism

Cotton is a foreign policy militarist who often employs neoconservative talking points, has long pushed hardline policies on Iran, and frequently talks about the need to go to war. “There are evil people in the world who would do evil things,” he once told Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin: “It’s important to remind the American people why we’re still engaged [militarily].”[27]He added: “What I used to say…was, ‘You may be tired of war, but war is not tired of you.’”[28]

Cotton frequently advocates for higher military spending and has ties to the defense industry.[29]His justifies his support for more military spending by raising the specter of dangerous enemies confronting America. As one commentator noted, “Pick a topic—Syria, Iran, Russia, ISIS, drones, NSA snooping—and Cotton can be found at the hawkish outer edge of the debate…During his senate campaign, he told a tele-townhall that ISIS and Mexican drug cartels joining forces to attack Arkansas was an ‘urgent problem.’”[30]

Cotton has also called for expanding Guantánamo Bay in order to fight terrorism. “The only problem with Guantánamo Bay is there are too many empty beds in cells there right now,” he said during a 2015 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We should be sending more terrorists there for further interrogation to keep this country safe. As far as I’m concerned, every last one of them can rot in hell. But as long as they don’t do that, they can rot in Guantánamo Bay.”[31]

Neoconservative Connections

A military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and a graduate of Harvard Law School, Cotton first gained public attention after writing a letter in 2006 calling for two New York Times journalists to be prosecuted for writing a story about government tracking of terrorism financing. “By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars,” Cotton said in the letter.[32]

Soon after the publication of the letter, Cotton developed an enduring friendship with the Weekly Standard’sBill Kristol. According to The Atlantic, “Kristol saw a kindred spirit in Cotton’s aggressive national-security hawkishness, and the men developed what Kristol describes as ‘a bond beyond pure policy.’”[33]

Another writer, pointing out that Kristol and Cotton both studied under Harvey Mansfield—a leading academic disciple of Leo Strauss, the political philosopher who inspired neoconservative thought—at Harvard, wrote: “I mean, really, this vision of the older Kristol counseling the young soldier on his career path over drinks at the Mayflower Hotel—with its 1920s-era murals of the woodlands, the sea, and the ruins of Greek temples—sounds like a Straussian wet dream.[34]Kristol, of course, is Strauss’s ‘philosopher’ who cultivates and advises the ‘gentleman’ about the ways of the world, knowing that, although he the philosopher lacks the charisma and the common touch to appeal to the masses, his eager (and manly) gentleman-protege may well become ‘prince’ and thus the instrument for implementing his political agenda.”[35]

In 2014, Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israelsupported Cotton’s Senate run with a million-dollar contribution in the form of supportive political advertising. Other hardline “pro-Israel” figures—like casino-mogul Sheldon Adelson, hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, and former Mitt Romneyforeign policy adviser Dan Senor—also supported Cotton’s successful Senate bid.

Senor, who alongside Kristol as a co-founder of the neoconservative Foreign Policy Initiative, wrote of Cotton in June 2013: “Tom is the type of individual, based on his own history and his command of the issues, who can resist this siren call and explain—in a convincing, reassuring and powerful way—why America needs to provide leadership in the world, for the sake of security and peace, as well as for the strength of our democratic allies.”[36]

Cotton was mentioned in an April 2015 New York Times piece that examined why Republicans are “more fervently pro-Israel than ever.” The article linked such sentiment to being “partly a result of ideology, but also a product of a surge in donations and campaign spending on their behalf by a small group of wealthy donors.”[37]

According to the article, Paul Singer donated $250,000 to an “independent expenditure group” that supported Cotton during his 2014 run for Senate. “Pro-Israel” billionaire hedge fund investor Seth Klarmanalso contributed $100,000 to Cotton’s campaign. The Times article also reported that John Bolton’s political action committee—which is partly financed by “pro-Israel” donors—spent over $825,000 to support Cotton’s bid for Senate.[38]In total, Cotton spent $13.9 million on his campaign.[39]

 

SOURCES

[1]Heather Digby Parton, “’Sarah Palin with a Harvard degree’: Why new senator Tom Cotton is so frightening,” Salon, February 12, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/02/12/sarah_palin_with_a_harvard_degree_why_new_senator_tom_cotton_is_so_frightening/

[2]Jim Lobe, “OMG ! Cotton is Kristol’s Protege,” Lobelog, March 11, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/omg-cotton-is-kristols-protege/

[3]Eric Mack, “Cotton: Senate Intel Has ‘No Evidence’ of Trump Wiretap Claim,” Newsmax, March 5, 2007, https://www.newsmax.com/Politics/tom-cotton-no-evidence-wiretap-trump-tower/2017/03/05/id/776979/

[4]David Ramsey, “Tom Cotton bobs and weaves on Donald Trump, Arkansas Times, July 21, 2016, https://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2016/07/21/tom-cotton-bobs-and-weaves-on-donald-trump

[5]Jeffrey Goldberg, “The Hollow Men,” The Atlantic, July 21, 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/the-hollow-men/492320/

[6]Dylan Scott, “Tom Cotton was supposed to be CIA director. He isn’t — and that’s trouble for Trump,” Vox, March 13, 2018 https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/13/17113952/rex-tillerson-fired-tom-cotton-cia-gina-haspel

[7]Jeffrey Toobin, “Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism?” The New Yorker, Novemner 13, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/13/is-tom-cotton-the-future-of-trumpism

[8]“A Conversation on the Iran Nuclear Deal With Senator Tom Cotton,” Council On Foreign Relations, October 3, 2017, https://www.cfr.org/event/conversation-iran-nuclear-deal-senator-tom-cotton

[9]Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[10]Zach Carter, “Tom Cotton ‘Corruption Of Blood’ Bill Would Convict Family Members Of Iran Sanctions Violators,” The Huffington Post, May 22, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/tom-cotton-corruption-of-blood_n_3322251.html.

Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[11]Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[12]Laura Clawson, “Newspapers across the country condemn Republican open letter to Iran,” Daily Kos, March 11, 2015, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/11/1370145/-Newspapers-across-the-country-condemn-Republican-open-letter-to-Iran.

[13]“A Conversation on the Iran Nuclear Deal With Senator Tom Cotton,” Council On Foreign Relations, October 3, 2017, https://www.cfr.org/event/conversation-iran-nuclear-deal-senator-tom-cotton

[14]Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[15]Paul Pillar, “The Damage to U.S. Interests Abroad of Domestic Political Intemperance,” LobeLog, March 12, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/the-damage-to-u-s-interests-abroad-of-domestic-political-intemperance/.

[16]Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[17]Nicole Flatow, “Tom Cotton Seems Confused About The Basic Geography Of Iran,” ThinkProgress, March 15, 2015, http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/03/15/3633912/tom-cotton-alarmed-capital-iran-controlled-iran/.

[18]Steve Benen, “Being Tom Cotton means never having to say you’re sorry,” MSNBC, March 16, 2015, http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/being-tom-cotton-means-never-having-say-youre-sorry

[19]Glenn Kessler, “Tom Cotton’s four-day war against Iran,” The Washington Post, April 9, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/blog/203833/tom-cotton-iran-war-will-be-cakewalk.

[20]Ali Gharib, “Tom Cotton: The Iran War Will Be a Cakewalk,” The Nation, April 8, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/blog/203833/tom-cotton-iran-war-will-be-cakewalk.

[21]Paige Lavender, “Tom Cotton: John Kerry ‘Acted Like Pontius Pilate’ During Iran Nuclear Talks,” The Huffington Post, July 23, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/tom-cotton-assails-iran-deal-again/.

[22]Derek Davison, “Tom Cotton Assails Iran Deal (Again),” LobeLog, July 30, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/tom-cotton-assails-iran-deal-again/.

[23]Greg Sargent, “Tom Cotton: We can bomb Iran’s nuke program back to ‘day zero,’” The Washington Post, August 5, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/08/05/tom-cotton-we-can-bomb-irans-nukes-back-to-day-zero/.

[24]Greg Sargent, “Tom Cotton: We can bomb Iran’s nuke program back to ‘day zero,’” The Washington Post, August 5, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/08/05/tom-cotton-we-can-bomb-irans-nukes-back-to-day-zero/.

[25]Raphael Ahren, “Battle against Iran deal far from over, US senator vows in Israel,” The Times of Israel, September 1, 2015, http://www.timesofisrael.com/battle-against-iran-deal-far-from-over-us-senator-vows-in-israel/. Julian Hattem, “Sen. Cotton meets Netanyahu in Israel,” The Hill, August 31, 2015, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/252356-cotton-meets-with-netanyahu-in-israel.

[26]Andrew DeMillo, “Tom Cotton: Iran Agreement Could Spark Second ‘Nuclear Age,’” Arkansas Business, August 26, 2015, http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/106742/tom-cotton-iran-agreement-could-spark-second-nuclear-age.

[27]Jennifer Rubin, “Tom Cotton: No ordinary freshman congressman,” The Washington Post, December 5, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2012/12/05/tom-cotton-no-ordinary-freshman-congressman/

[28]Jennifer Rubin, “Tom Cotton: No ordinary freshman congressman,” The Washington Post, December 5, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2012/12/05/tom-cotton-no-ordinary-freshman-congressman/

[29]Lee Fang, “Immediately After Launching Effort To Scuttle Iran Deal, Senator Tom Cotton To Meet With Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, March 9, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/09/upon-launching-effort-scuttle-iran-deal-senator-tom-cotton-meets-defense-contractors/

[30]Heather Digby Parton, “’Sarah Palin with a Harvard degree’: Why new senator Tom Cotton is so frightening,” Salon, February 12, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/02/12/sarah_palin_with_a_harvard_degree_why_new_senator_tom_cotton_is_so_frightening/

[31]Burgess Everett, “Cotton storms the Senate,” Politico, March 10, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/cotton-storms-the-senate-115960.html#ixzz3U2mryqc6

[32]Nick Baumann, “The GOP Candidate Who Wants Journos Jailed,” Mother Jones, November 10, 2011, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/tom-cotton-arkansas-new-york-times

[33]Molly Ball, “The Making of a Conservative Superstar,” The Atlantic, September 17 2014, http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/the-making-of-a-conservative-superstar/380307/

[34]Danny Postel, “Noble Lies And Perpetual War: Leo Strauss, The Neo-Cons, And Iraq,” Information Clearing House, October 18, 2003, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5010.htm

[35]Jim Lobe, “OMG ! Cotton is Kristol’s Protege,” Lobelog, March 11, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/omg-cotton-is-kristols-protege/

[36]Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “GOP’s Man of the Moment Promoted by RJC’s Singer and Adelson,” LobeLog, March 10, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/gops-man-of-the-moment-promoted-by-rjcs-singer-and-adelson/

[37]Eric Lipton, “G.OP.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift,” The New York Times, April 4, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/politics/gops-israel-support-deepens-as-political-contributions-shift.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0

[38]Eric Lipton, “G.OP.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift,” The New York Times, April 4, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/politics/gops-israel-support-deepens-as-political-contributions-shift.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0

[39]Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “GOP’s Man of the Moment Promoted by RJC’s Singer and Adelson,” LobeLog, March 10, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/gops-man-of-the-moment-promoted-by-rjcs-singer-and-adelson/

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Sources

[1] Heather Digby Parton, “’Sarah Palin with a Harvard degree’: Why new senator Tom Cotton is so frightening,” Salon, February 12, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/02/12/sarah_palin_with_a_harvard_degree_why_new_senator_tom_cotton_is_so_frightening/.

[2] Jim Lobe, “OMG ! Cotton is Kristol’s Protege,” Lobelog, March 11, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/omg-cotton-is-kristols-protege/.

[3] Ali Gharib, “Did Iran ‘toy’ with the U.S.?” Los Angeles Times, Jan 13, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0114-gharib-iran-marines-non-crisis-20160114-story.html

[4] Lee Fang, “Immediately After Launching Effort To Scuttle Iran Deal, Senator Tom Cotton To Meet With Defense Contractors,” The Intercept, March 9, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/09/upon-launching-effort-scuttle-iran-deal-senator-tom-cotton-meets-defense-contractors/.

[5] Heather Digby Parton, “’Sarah Palin with a Harvard degree’: Why new senator Tom Cotton is so frightening,” Salon, February 12, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/02/12/sarah_palin_with_a_harvard_degree_why_new_senator_tom_cotton_is_so_frightening/.

[6] Nick Baumann, “The GOP Candidate Who Wants Journos Jailed,” Mother Jones, November 10, 2011,http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/tom-cotton-arkansas-new-york-times

[7] Molly Ball, “The Making of a Conservative Superstar,” The Atlantic, September 17 2014,http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/the-making-of-a-conservative-superstar/380307/.

[8] Jim Lobe, “OMG ! Cotton is Kristol’s Protege,” Lobelog, March 11, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/omg-cotton-is-kristols-protege/.

[9] Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “GOP’s Man of the Moment Promoted by RJC’s Singer and Adelson,” LobeLog, March 10, 2015,http://www.lobelog.com/gops-man-of-the-moment-promoted-by-rjcs-singer-and-adelson/.

[10] Eric Lipton, “G.OP.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift,” The New York Times, April 4, 2015,http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/politics/gops-israel-support-deepens-as-political-contributions-shift.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0.

[11] Eric Lipton, “G.OP.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift,” The New York Times, April 4, 2015,http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/politics/gops-israel-support-deepens-as-political-contributions-shift.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0.

[12] Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, “GOP’s Man of the Moment Promoted by RJC’s Singer and Adelson,” LobeLog, March 10, 2015,http://www.lobelog.com/gops-man-of-the-moment-promoted-by-rjcs-singer-and-adelson/.

[13] Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015,http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[14] Zach Carter, “Tom Cotton ‘Corruption Of Blood’ Bill Would Convict Family Members Of Iran Sanctions Violators,” The Huffington Post, May 22, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/tom-cotton-corruption-of-blood_n_3322251.html.

Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015,http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[15] Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015,http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[16] Laura Clawson, “Newspapers across the country condemn Republican open letter to Iran,” Daily Kos, March 11, 2015,http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/11/1370145/-Newspapers-across-the-country-condemn-Republican-open-letter-to-Iran.

[17] Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015,http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[18] Paul Pillar, “The Damage to U.S. Interests Abroad of Domestic Political Intemperance,” LobeLog, March 12, 2015,http://www.lobelog.com/the-damage-to-u-s-interests-abroad-of-domestic-political-intemperance/.

[19] Ali Gharib, “Meet Tom Cotton, the Senator Behind the Republicans’ Letter to Iran,” The Nation, March 10, 2015,http://www.thenation.com/blog/200993/meet-tom-cotton-senator-behind-republicans-letter-iran.

[20] Nicole Flatow, “Tom Cotton Seems Confused About The Basic Geography Of Iran,” ThinkProgress, March 15, 2015,http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/03/15/3633912/tom-cotton-alarmed-capital-iran-controlled-iran/.

[21] Steve Benen, “Being Tom Cotton means never having to say you’re sorry,” MSNBC, March 16, 2015,http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/being-tom-cotton-means-never-having-say-youre-sorry

[22] Glenn Kessler, “Tom Cotton’s four-day war against Iran,” The Washington Post, April 9, 2015,http://www.thenation.com/blog/203833/tom-cotton-iran-war-will-be-cakewalk.

[23] Ali Gharib, “Tom Cotton: The Iran War Will Be a Cakewalk,” The Nation, April 8, 2015,http://www.thenation.com/blog/203833/tom-cotton-iran-war-will-be-cakewalk.

[24] Paige Lavender, “Tom Cotton: John Kerry ‘Acted Like Pontius Pilate’ During Iran Nuclear Talks,” The Huffington Post, July 23, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/tom-cotton-assails-iran-deal-again/.

[25] Derek Davison, “Tom Cotton Assails Iran Deal (Again),” LobeLog, July 30, 2015, http://www.lobelog.com/tom-cotton-assails-iran-deal-again/.

[26] Greg Sargent, “Tom Cotton: We can bomb Iran’s nuke program back to ‘day zero,’” The Washington Post, August 5, 2015,https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/08/05/tom-cotton-we-can-bomb-irans-nukes-back-to-day-zero/.

[27] Greg Sargent, “Tom Cotton: We can bomb Iran’s nuke program back to ‘day zero,’” The Washington Post, August 5, 2015,https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/08/05/tom-cotton-we-can-bomb-irans-nukes-back-to-day-zero/.

[28] Raphael Ahren, “Battle against Iran deal far from over, US senator vows in Israel,” The Times of Israel, September 1, 2015,http://www.timesofisrael.com/battle-against-iran-deal-far-from-over-us-senator-vows-in-israel/.

Julian Hattem, “Sen. Cotton meets Netanyahu in Israel,” The Hill, August 31, 2015, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/252356-cotton-meets-with-netanyahu-in-israel.

 

[29] Andrew DeMillo, “Tom Cotton: Iran Agreement Could Spark Second ‘Nuclear Age,’” Arkansas Business, August 26, 2015,http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/106742/tom-cotton-iran-agreement-could-spark-second-nuclear-age.

[30] Jennifer Rubin, “Tom Cotton: No ordinary freshman congressman,” The Washington Post, December 5, 2012,http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2012/12/05/tom-cotton-no-ordinary-freshman-congressman/.

[31] Jennifer Rubin, “Tom Cotton: No ordinary freshman congressman,” The Washington Post, December 5, 2012,http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2012/12/05/tom-cotton-no-ordinary-freshman-congressman/.

[32] Burgess Everett, “Cotton storms the Senate,” Politico, March 10, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/cotton-storms-the-senate-115960.html#ixzz3U2mryqc6.


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Tom Cotton Résumé

Affiliations

  • Emergency Committee for Israel: Purchased advertising supporting Cotton’s 2014 Senate Campaign

Government

  • U.S. Senator (R-AR): 2015 –
  • Former Congressman (R-AR):2013 – 2015
  • US Army

Business

  • McKinsey & Company: Consultant

Education

  • Harvard University: BA, Government
  • Harvard Law School: JD

 

Related:

Tom Cotton News Feed

Cotton and crime | Jay Barth | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art - Arkansas TimesCotton wields sex offender report to tank prisons bill - POLITICOLame-duck Congress' rush for criminal justice reform plan will hurt, not help: Tom Cotton - USA TODAYUS Sen. Tom Cotton criticized for opposing bill to scale back penalties for nonviolent offenders - Arkansas OnlineTom Cotton Is Here To Ruin Prison Reform - HuffPostSenators Tom Cotton, Elizabeth Warren introduce POW/MIA Flag Act - 4029tvUS Sen. Tom Cotton, colleague jab over prison bill - Arkansas OnlineTom Cotton pats himself on the back for defeating Clarke Tucker - Arkansas TimesFormer CNN host: Tom Cotton is ‘remarkably ignorant’ | TheHill - The HillAuthoritarian Sen. Tom Cotton wants more nonviolent criminals to needlessly rot in jail - Washington ExaminerWere there no hearings on bipartisan criminal justice bill? - PolitiFactCotton, Trump at odds on criminal justice overhaul - POLITICOThe Truth about the FIRST STEP Act - National ReviewCotton opposes Trump-backed criminal justice bill | TheHill - The HillWhy isn’t Mitch McConnell bringing up criminal justice reform? - The Washington PostCotton opposes bill to trim prison terms, calls it too lenient - Arkansas OnlineGOP to confirm Trump judicial picks through Christmas, New Year's Eve: Cotton - Washington TimesCotton versus the Trumps - The Weekly StandardSen. Tom Cotton has no idea how asylum works - ThinkProgressReforming America's criminal justice system: What you need to know - USA TODAY

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