Trump lashes ex-secretary of state Kerry for Iran meetings

Kerry Admits Meeting With Zarif Several Times, Says Did Not 'Coach' Him

Kerry Admits Meeting With Zarif Several Times, Says Did Not 'Coach' Him

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSouth Carolina detention centers say it will not relocate inmates in mandatory evacuation zones Letitia James routs three Dems to win New York AG primary Trump slams Kerry for "illegal" meetings with Iran MORE sparked controversy after announcing he would withdraw the USA from the 2015 deal in May, despite being advised to remain in the pact.

Pompeo said he would leave "legal determinations to others" but slammed Kerry as a former secretary of state for engaging with "the world's largest state-sponsor of terror" and telling Iran to "wait out this administration".

"What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented", Pompeo told a news conference, adding that he "ought not to engage in that kind of behaviour".

"When I met with the Iranians, the policies of the United States was still to be in the Iran deal because the president had not decided and not pulled out", Kerry said. He also said that he saw Mr Kerry in Munich earlier this year, along with former U.S. energy secretary Ernest Moniz and former USA negotiator Wendy Sherman, where he suspected they met Iranian officials.

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".

He acknowledged meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif "three or four times" in recent months, without consulting the Trump administration.

Trump then misunderstood or misrepresented the law by stating that Kerry should have been registered as a foreign agent for giving a foreign nation advice as a citizen.

Asked by a Republican lawmaker during a congressional hearing about the so-called shadow diplomacy, Manisha Singh, an assistant secretary of state, said on Thursday: "It's unfortunate if people from a past administration would try to compromise the progress we're trying to make in this administration".

Pompeo's sharp criticism of Kerry comes a day after President Donald Trump accused the former secretary of state of "illegal" meetings on Iran in a late-night tweet.

"I think you understand what I wish it is that former secretaries of state-all of them, from either political party-ought not to be engaged in", Pompeo said.

Kerry, the former MA senator who worked as the nation's top diplomat in the Obama administration, made the comments about his interactions with Iran as he promotes his new book, "Every Day Is Extra".

Following the United States pullout from the nuclear agreement in May, Iran said it was interested in keeping the deal alive, but only if the remaining powers could guarantee it would not face economic isolation under Washington's sanctions.

"I'm confident that they met with their troika counterparts", Pompeo continued.

"The devil's always in the details", Rosenstein said.

When reports of Kerry's ex-officio contacts with Zarif first surfaced in May, Trump tweeted similar thoughts.

Trump blasted Kerry in a tweet, calling the meetings "illegal".

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

Later Wednesday, during an appearance on Fox News' "The Daily Briefing", Kerry did not deny the suggestion he told Iranians to "wait out" Trump until the next Democratic president. "What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better", Kerry explained.

"No, that's not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that's not how it works", Kerry told Hewitt.