Trump castigates Kerry for ‘Shadow Diplomacy’ to save Iran nuclear deal

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By John Wagner,

President Trump on Monday castigated John F. Kerry following a report that the former secretary of state was engaged in unusual shadow diplomacy in a bid to preserve the pact he helped negotiate to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

“The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!”

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In recent months, Kerry has been quietly holding meetings and speaking by phone with players in the Iran nuclear agreement, one of the former Massachusetts senator’s major diplomatic achievements, the Boston Globe reported on Friday.

The paper said Kerry has been seeking to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside to preserve the pact. Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on scrapping it, faces a Saturday deadline to decide whether to continue abiding by its terms.

During a Friday speech to the National Rifle Association, Trump attacked Kerry for having negotiated the 2015 deal he called “horrible.”

“We have the former administration as represented by John Kerry, not the best negotiator we’ve ever seen,” Trump said. “He never walked away from the table, except to be in that bicycle race where he fell and broke his leg.” (Kerry broke his leg in 2015 while bicycling in the Alps.)

Since the Globe report, Kerry has come under fire from conservative commentators, with some suggesting his dealings with foreign officials could violate the rarely enforced Logan Act. That law prohibits private citizens from negotiating on behalf of the U.S. government without authorization.