This Thursday at the White House, President Donald Trump picked out another political opponent who he thinks should face criminal prosecution, slamming former Secretary of State John Kerry as supposedly in violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits figures like him from interfering in diplomatic and political efforts. Kerry responded bluntly right away, sharing with CNN through a spokesperson that the president’s accusation is, quite simply, nonsense. Trump had become enraged at Kerry keeping in touch with Iranian counterparts in part in support of the nuclear deal that he helped negotiate with them while on the job in the Obama administration.
In response to Trump’s raging, Kerry shared:
‘Everything President Trump said today is 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 helped solve an intractable problem — the world supported it then and supports it now. We hope the president would focus on solving foreign policy problems for America instead of attacking his predecessors for theater.’
It doesn’t get much more blunt than that.
Ironically, the Trump team didn’t like the Logan Act up until apparently just recently. Some concerned observers had suggested Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn should have been prosecuted under the legislation because of his policy coordination with the Russian government in between Trump’s election victory and him taking office. In that case, unlike the one with Kerry, Flynn had actually been breaking with established U.S. policy via telling then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak not to worry because the then-incoming Trump team would counter sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed.
In contrast, Kerry had only spoken in support of already well-established U.S. and global policy and in so doing, followed after the pattern of plenty of other similar leaders. Trump had insisted in his ranting that Kerry supposedly would surely have already been prosecuted if he were a Republican, but he might not want to pull on that rope for too long. He’s separately consistently worked to undermine the nuclear deal Kerry got enacted with Iran, eventually completely withdrawing the United States from the agreement despite what the administration’s own intelligence chiefs have said is a lack of evidence that the nation was actually in violation.
Just recently, as Trump keeps raging about not being free to order prosecution of his political opponents at will, Iran actually moved to pressure the deal themselves. They have stopped exporting excess material accumulated from an allowed uranium enrichment process and say they’ll move further away from the deal’s framework unless European partners help them get around the sanctions the Trump administration has brought back in force.
Meanwhile, Trump just keeps whining on Twitter about how the recently revealed over $1 billion in losses that he claimed during the late 1980s and early 90s were actually a decent understandable thing and part of the “sport” of doing real estate back then — although in at least two of those years he literally lost more than twice as much as any taxpayer in the whole country. It could explain a lot about how he’s running the country.
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