Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Pompeo slams Kerry for 'inappropriate' meetings with Iran officials

Kerry Admits Meeting With Zarif Several Times, Says Did Not 'Coach' Him President Trump: Kerry Meetings With Iran Officials Are Illegal
Patty Aguilar | 15 September, 2018, 11:45

Mike Pompeo has lashed out at his predecessor John Kerry, accusing him of "actively undermining" USA foreign policy for reportedly telling Iranian officials in meetings to "wait out" the Trump administration.

"What Secretary Kerry did was unseemly and unprecedented", Pompeo told reporters at the State Department.

"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".

"You can't find precedent for this in United States history and the secretary ought not engage in this kind of behavior", Pompeo continued, in answer to a question. "It's inconsistent with what foreign policy of the United States is, as directed by this president, and it is beyond inappropriate for him to be engaged in this".

Former secretary of state John F. Kerry speaks during a Commonwealth Club of California event in San Francisco this month.

Kerry defended his actions out of office, saying "everybody does it", citing Henry Kissinger as an example and adding that there's "nothing unusual about it".

Kerry has admitted to meeting "three or four times" with Zarif since he left office.

The law Trump invoked - the Foreign Agents Registration Act - requires registration and transparency by people or companies acting on behalf of foreign governments, political parties or individuals.

"Unfortunately, we have a president, literally, for whom the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is three different things, and you don't even know what they are", said Kerry.

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In his tweet, Trump asked whether Kerry had complied with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

"I don't have personal knowledge of those meetings, but, if that is happening, again, I would find it very inappropriate", said State Department official Manisha Singh.

Kerry is in the midst of a promotional tour for his new book, "Every Day is Extra", including stops in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, over the weekend.

"I am confident that they met with their troika [Iranian] counterparts", he said.

"What did you do, John Kerry, that was BAD?"

Trump blasted Kerry in a tweet, calling the meetings "illegal". "He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!"

Sure, Kerry now says he's merely "trying to elicit what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better". He told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he has criticized the Trump administration in these discussions for not pursuing negotiations with Iran.

"That's not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that's not how it works", he said in the interview.

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