Kerry responds to Trump accusation he violated Logan Act: ‘Another presidential lie’
Former Secretary of State John Kerry fired back at President Trump on Thursday after the president said he and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) should be prosecuted under the Logan Act for speaking to Iranian officials.
“That is, once again, another presidential lie, a complete effort by the president to distort reality,” Kerry said in a Fox News interview.
THE HEADLINER: @JohnKerry responds to President Trump’s accusation that he and Sen. Chris Murphy violated the Logan Act that forbids Americans from conducting rogue negotiations with foreign governments in disputes with the U.S. #nine2noon pic.twitter.com/LZne7NQwZ9
— America’s Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) February 20, 2020
Kerry’s comments were in response to a tweet the president posted Thursday morning saying Kerry and Murphy “grossly violated the Logan Act,” which restricts private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments without approval from the administration.
John Kerry and Senator Chris Murphy grossly violated the Logan Act with respect to Iran. If a Republican did what they did, there would be very serious ramifications!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
Kerry, who was head of the State Department during the Obama administration and helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal which Trump pulled out of last year, and Murphy have met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif individually at conferences.
It is not the first time Trump has accused Kerry and Murphy of violating the Logan Act.
“If he knew anything about the law he’d know I did not negotiate with anybody. I’ve done what every senator and secretary of State in history have done and that’s just to continue to go to conferences abroad or have meetings in order to be well informed. We reached no negotiations,” Kerry said, before shifting attention to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney and adviser who has done personal consulting work for foreign governments while also working for the president.
“But what he ought to do is focus on somebody called Rudy Giuliani who has been out there very engaged in direct negotiations in an effort to subterfuge foreign policy,” Kerry said. “The personal attorney of the president of the United States should not be meeting with people who have now been indicted, who have broken the law and are now engaged in activities with the president’s personal lawyer.”
“We have to be real here: That is an activity way beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my life and I think it’s completely and totally inappropriate,” he added.