Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his predecessor John Kerry clashed Friday over the latter’s private meetings with Iranian officials, a remarkable war of words that had both sides accusing the other of dishonesty.
Pompeo alleged that, by holding “beyond inappropriate” meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Kerry was undermining U.S. foreign policy in an “unprecedented” manner. The secretary’s comments came after President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet that Kerry’s meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif were “illegal.”
Kerry and his aides dismissed such allegations as utter bunk, pointing out that Kerry had briefed Pompeo and the State Department about his discussions with Zarif. Kerry twisted the knife even more on Twitter by raising Trump’s legal woes, saying the president should “be more worried about Paul Manafort meeting with Robert Mueller than me meeting with Iran’s [foreign minister].”
It was an ugly and astonishing exchange for two men who have held the title of chief U.S. diplomat, a role that traditionally is supposed to stay above partisan fray. But it was just another indication of the unusually…
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