Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed former Secretary of State John Kerry during an interview on Tuesday night over a report from The New York Times that alleged Kerry told Iran’s foreign minister that Israel was behind hundreds of attacks on Iranian assets inside Syria.
“It looks like from this reporting, that it’s confirmed what we can already believe, which was that while I was briefing President Trump, Kerry was briefing Zarif on intelligence that related to Israeli operations, I hope that’s not true,” Pompeo told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “John Kerry needs to come forward. Secretary Kerry needs to speak to the American people and explain to them why he was meeting with Zarif. We know he did that, he’s admitted as much, what he was talking about. We believe that he was absolutely telling the Iranians, ‘Hang on, this pressure campaign, the power that’s being exerted by America against you, it’ll be over, we’ll win this election. It’ll just be four years, you can hang in there. Don’t, don’t for a minute negotiate with the Trump team.'”
Pompeo also addressed recent actions by the Iranian Revolution Guard Corps, which has been harassing U.S. Navy vessels, saying that the Trump administration solved this problem by telling the Navy that they had permission to “blow [the Iranians] out of the water.”
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, is Joe Biden up to the task? Here with reaction, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. I look at this, did John Kerry in the Trump years, Mr. Secretary, did he conduct covert foreign policy negotiations? The very thing that we were lectured General Flynn did with his soon to be counterpart when he was going to be National Security Adviser with the Iranians. And do you believe that Muhammad Zarif is correct in what he’s saying? Is that a possibility? And if it is, what would that mean to you?
MIKE POMPEO, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE AND CIA DIRECTOR: Well Sean, thanks for having me on. It looks like from this reporting, that it’s confirmed what we can already believe, which was that while I was briefing President Trump, Kerry was briefing Zarif on intelligence that related to Israeli operations, I hope that’s not true. John Kerry needs to come forward, Secretary Kerry needs to speak to the American people and explain to them why he was meeting with Zarif. We know he did that, he’s admitted as much, what he was talking about. We believe that he was absolutely telling the Iranians hang on, this pressure campaign, the power that’s being exerted by America against you, it’ll be over, we’ll win this election. It’ll just be four years, you can hang in there. Don’t, don’t for a minute negotiate with the Trump team. And so Secretary Kerry’s got an awful lot of explaining to do. There’s no reason to think that these remarks that Zarif made, according to The New York Times, they were made in private, he didn’t think they were going to come out, there’s no reason to think that he wasn’t telling you that he was truly surprised that he did not know about these Israeli operations, until Secretary Kerry told him about them.
HANNITY: Do you have faith, trust, confidence that Joe Biden will be able to handle the Iranians? Now, he wants to get back in the Iranian deal, well, now we have the U.S. Navy being tested right now at this hour. My question to you is, what is the proper response?
POMPEO: Sean, I’ll tell you what President Trump and our team did. We had the same issue. They were driving IRGC, the Expeditionary Forces, the Iranians were driving IRGC Coast Guard cutters close to our ships. President Trump made clear to our naval officers and our sailors you have every right to respond, you have every right to blow them out of the water. And when we did that, and we communicated that to the Iranians, that activity ceased. We need to make sure that our sailors have the ability to defend themselves. You know, Sean, people may have forgotten. But when Secretary Kerry was in office last time, when he was the secretary of state, the Iranians not only put cutters around our ships, but they seized our sailors, you remember those pictures? They were sitting on the pier, they were kneeling down. They were being held by the Iranians and only an apology from Secretary Kerry was able to get them back. That wouldn’t have happened on our watch. It didn’t happen on our watch.
HANNITY: Last question. If the Iranians, if we go back into this deal, you saw the last deal. Hundreds of, you know, all the millions of dollars, billion dollars, given to the Iranian mullahs, we had no anywhere, any place, anytime inspections. What are we get to get an exchange for this deal? And do you see anything? And isn’t there a real reason that the Israelis, the U.S., the Egyptians, Jordanians, the Saudis have now united against the Iranian hegemony? What part of this does Joe Biden, John Kerry, Kamala Harris not get?
POMPEO: You know, we isolated the Iranians Sean like they’d never been isolated before. You name those Arab states, add the Emirates as well, they all understand that this deal puts them at risk and our Israeli friends, the Jewish homeland is under threat, if we give the Iranians this money again, it reduces American security as well. I do not for the life of me understand why they would give the Iranians something in exchange for almost nothing, just for this thing that appears to be an article of faith for them to go back into this deal, to say they did it this, this crown jewel of the Kerry Secretary of State time, it would be a big mistake. And it puts Americans at risk.
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