President Trump blasted former Secretary of State John Kerry Monday for what he called “possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy” with officials from Iran and Europe in a bid to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.
Kerry took a shockingly brazen stance against President Trump by secretly working with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif to save the nuclear deal. His activities may have violated the Logan Act that expressly forbids private citizens from undermining U.S. foreign policy.
The relevant U.S. Code reads as follows:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
The president has repeatedly hit Kerry for his supposedly poor negotiating skills, but turned up the criticism following reports that Kerry is trying to save the deal — as the Trump administration nears a May 12 deadline to decide whether to recertify the pact with Tehran.
“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!” Trump tweeted Monday.
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
The DC reports:
News of former Secretary of State John Kerry’s alleged collusion with the Iranian government played a role in President Donald Trump’s final decision to scuttle the Iran deal, two White House sources with direct knowledge of the president’s thinking tell The Daily Caller.
Trump announced he was pulling out of the deal Tuesday, just a few days after news broke that Kerry had been parlaying with Iran in an attempt to keep the deal.
A source inside the White House with knowledge of the decision process tells TheDC that the Iran deal was “done” when Trump found out about Kerry’s lobbying behind the scenes to keep the agreement in place.
“Trump was headed that way but Kerry just took away any of the teeth of the detractors,” the source said on background. “[Kerry’s] bulls**t ultimately killed the deal.”
Another source inside the West Wing confirms to TheDC that there was a frantic last-minute lobbying effort to keep the deal in place and that the timing of the Kerry news was “ironic.” The source specifically blames Kerry’s meddling in the process as a key decision point in the calculus for pulling out of the deal.
“It was by no means the reason [Trump] decided to pull out, but it certainly influenced the final decision,” the source continued. “I mean, read the tweets.”
President Trump attacked Kerry’s actions on Twitter Monday, saying, “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!”
Trump followed up, saying, “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!”
Both sources confirm that Kerry’s actions hurt the lobbying effort by some in the West Wing to keep the deal in place.
The decision marks another crippling blow to Barack Obama’s legacy by the Trump administration. The Iran Deal was the cornerstone of the now crumbling cathedral of Obama foreign policy.
Read the full story at The DC.