In the wake of President Donald Trump’s dramatic decision to withdraw from an agreement to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, some sources close to the process say former Secretary of State John Kerry inadvertently helped the president reach his decision.
Kerry, who was instrumental in brokering the Iran deal on behalf of the Obama administration, has been a vocal opponent of Trump’s efforts to undermine its terms.
The extent of his advocacy was the source of a bombshell report by the Boston Globe last week.
According to the paper, Kerry met with multiple U.S. lawmakers and officials in other stakeholder nations in recent months in an effort to salvage the deal.
He has reportedly had more than one meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as well as conversations on the matter with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French President Emmanuel Macron.
It was Kerry’s perceived meddling in Trump administration foreign affairs that ultimately sealed the president’s decision to exit the accord, sources said.
The Daily Caller‘s Benny Johnson cited “two White House sources with direct knowledge of the president’s thinking” in suggesting Kerry’s actions signed the death warrant of a deal he helped reach.
Though Trump had already indicated publicly, and by some accounts privately, that he intended to back out of the deal, the recent news allegedly gave him the final push.
“Trump was headed that way, but Kerry just took away any of the teeth of the detractors,” one source said, adding that the former diplomat’s “bulls— ultimately killed the deal.”
Another source pointed to Trump’s reaction on Twitter to the Kerry revelations as evidence of the impact it had on the decision.
The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal. He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
John Kerry can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
“It was by no means the reason (Trump) decided to pull out, but it certainly influenced the final decision,” the White House source claimed. “I mean, read the tweets.”
Though Trump and many of his allies have cast Kerry’s actions as inappropriate and potentially illegal, a spokesperson attempted to downplay the former secretary of state’s involvement in the current administration’s foreign affairs.
“Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world,” the source told Fox News, acknowledging that Kerry is continuing to work in the interest of ensuring the Iran agreement’s key points “remain effective.”
Iranian officials have indicated they are willing to continue negotiating with European, Russian and Chinese counterparts to preserve the structure of the agreement in America’s absence.
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