Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed his predecessor John Kerry, telling him “it's time to get off the stage” and stop inappropriately engaging with foreign leaders while undermining the Trump administration’s foreign policy.
Pompeo made the comments in a Fox News Radio interview with Guy Benson on Thursday amid the increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and the calls to investigate Kerry, the former secretary of state under President Obama, over the alleged violations of the Logan Act for meeting with Iranian officials.
“It is ahistorical and completely unhelpful when previous secretaries of state are continuing to engage in the tasks that they engaged in when they were the secretary of state … it’s time to get off the stage for the previous administration.”
— Mike Pompeo
“It is ahistorical and completely unhelpful when previous secretaries of state are continuing to engage in the tasks that they engaged in when they were the secretary of state,” Pompeo said. “I'll leave it at that in the sense of it's time to get off the stage for the previous administration.”
Kerry is facing scrutiny over his 2018 meeting with Iranian officials despite not holding the office, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio openly urging Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate whether Kerry broke the law and should be prosecuted under the Logan Act, a federal law which prohibits private citizens from negotiating on behalf of the U.S. government without authorization.
Pompeo went on to accuse Kerry of advising to the Iranians that the best course of action is to wait out the current administration, calling it “unheard of.”
“I understand they have different views than we have, they are entitled to those views. But talking with senior leaders around the world and suggesting to them somehow that waiting out this administration is the best course of action for those countries is something that is unheard of,” he said.
“It is fundamentally different than any previous administration has undertaken and they ought to leave the foreign policy to us."
— Mike Pompeo
“It is fundamentally different than any previous administration has undertaken and they ought to leave the foreign policy to us," he added.
Pompeo added that if the previous administration wants to appease the Iranians and allow North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to continue to advance his nuclear threat, “they should go fight for them at the ballot box.”
Earlier this month, President Trump said Kerry "should be prosecuted" under the Logan Act. A spokesman for Kerry pushed back on Trump’s remarks, calling them “simply wrong, end of story.”
“He's wrong about the facts, wrong about the law, and sadly he's been wrong about how to use diplomacy to keep America safe. Secretary Kerry helped negotiate a nuclear agreement that worked to solve an intractable problem,” the spokesman said.
“The world supported it then and supports it still. We'd hope the President would focus on solving foreign policy problems for America instead of attacking his predecessors for theater.”