Former Secretary of State John Kerry’s coddling of Iran is “unseemly and unprecedented,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.
This week, Kerry admitted he had met with Iranian officials after leaving office. During his time in the Obama administration, Kerry helped create The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal, with Iran.
President Donald Trump has since pulled the United States out of the deal, calling it “the worst deal ever.” Kerry has openly criticized Trump for rejecting the agreement.
“What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department, according to CNN.
“This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and according to him, he was talking to them, he was telling them to wait out this administration,” he added.
“You can’t find precedent for this in U.S. history and the secretary ought not engage in this kind of behavior,” the secretary continued. “It’s beyond inappropriate.”
Trump also lashed out at Kerry in a tweet.
“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!” the president tweeted.
John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2018
On Wednesday, Kerry told Fox News host Dana Perino that he has met with Iranian representatives “two or three” times since Trump took office.
He told another media outlet the same day that he met with an Iranian official “three or four times,” but denied “coaching” Iran on the nuclear deal.
Kerry, who said former secretaries of state routinely continue conversations with foreign leaders, was asked by Perino if his advice to Iran was to wait until a Democrat was elected in 2020.
“Well, I think everybody in the world is sitting around talking about waiting out President Trump,” Kerry said. “I mean, you’ve got our allies remarkably, the people that we have worked with the closest through the years, are sitting there saying, what’s next?”
The former secretary’s meetings were never a secret, a Kerry spokesman said.
“Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world just like every previous secretary of state, and in a long phone conversation with Secretary Pompeo earlier this year, he went into great detail about what he had learned about the Iranian’s view,” Matt Summers said. “No secrets were kept from this administration.”
Pompeo said the issue to him was not whether Kerry violated the law, but whether his actions hurt the United States at a time it is trying to fight the terrorists Iran supports.
“This is a former secretary of state engaged with the largest state sponsor of terror,” he said, according to Fox News. “Actively undermining U.S. policy as a former secretary of state is literally unheard of.”
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