Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just called out former Secretary of State John Kerry for his numerous secret meetings with Iran.
“I’ll leave the legal determinations to others, but what Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department Friday, as reported by 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,” Pompeo added.
“You can’t find precedent for this in US history and the secretary ought not engage in this kind of behavior,” Pompeo said. “It’s beyond inappropriate.”
During a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, Kerry confirmed he had met with Javad Zarif, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, “three or four times” over the past few months – all without the authorization of the Trump Administration.
Kerry claimed the meetings were “about the state of affairs in the world in order to understand them.”
“What I have done is try to elicit from him [Zarif] what Iran might be willing to do to change the dynamic of the Middle East for the better,” he said.
Kerry and Zarif were the leading figures in the negotiations that crafted the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and several world powers.
“I am reasonably confident that he was not there in support of U.S. policy,” Pompeo added. “Actively undermining U.S. policy as a former secretary of state is literally unheard of.”
President Trump also called out Kerry’s actions on Thursday, tweeting: “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!”
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
The legality of Kerry’s actions is in question because under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, individuals representing a nation must disclose relations, activities, and finances related to dealings with foreign entities.
Sen. Marco Rubio made his own remark against Kerry, saying: “Hopefully #Iran hires John Kerry to be their lead negotiator. Because he is certain to negotiate a bad deal for whichever side he is on.”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 14, 2018
Kerry also admitted to meeting with European diplomats in addition to Iranian diplomats, but the number of those meetings, or their content, is unknown.