Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryEgypt’s death squads and America's deafening silence With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach Ellison comments on Obama criticized as 'a stupid thing to say' MORE on Friday said that abruptly removing sanctions on Russia would be a "very dangerous" move for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBush ethics lawyer: Trump should strip Flynn of military title Dems might begin again with Kamala Harris and California Trump's tax plan builds GOP's path to 2018, 2020, and beyond MORE to make.
Asked by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell about the implications of Trump lifting sanctions, Kerry said that such an act would be "damaging."
"Well, the more recent sanctions, obviously, that would be a very dangerous and damaging message," he said.
"It would be a complete reversal of the importance that the intelligence community, obviously, the Congress, as you listened to the hearings just the other day, yesterday. Those are all indications of the great concern that Americans have about anybody interfering in our democracy, in our electoral process in a particularly subversive way."
Trump has embraced a pro-Russia platform that he repeatedly articulated throughout his presidential campaign, and he has been critical of intelligence findings that Moscow interfered in the presidential election.
Kerry maintained that suddenly lifting the anti-Russian sanctions would prove to be a "huge mistake" because such a move would further invite aggressive Russian activity in the future.
"If there were a move to suddenly lift them, it would be a huge mistake and a movement in a very damaging direction because it would invite further activity without some kind of understanding about where we're going," he said.
Trump is meeting Friday with heads of intelligence agencies about their findings on Russian election interference. He insinuated that the intelligence community was not fully prepared to brief him on the matter earlier this week.
"The 'Intelligence' briefing on so-called 'Russian hacking' was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!" Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
A senior U.S. intelligence official, however, later disputed Trump's claim, saying the meeting was always scheduled for Friday.