QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thanks so much for joining us tonight. We really, really appreciate it.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Laura, it’s great to be with you.
QUESTION: Iran in the news. Brian Hook, your special envoy, saying: We want to deal with Iran, but a treaty with Iran. Iranian leaders: No go. They’re like: We don’t want any dealings with the United States at this point. What’s going on?
SECRETARY POMPEO: President Trump’s been very clear since the time he was running for office that the arrangement that the previous administration put in place was bad for America, frankly, bad for the world. And so I and Brian are working to get Iran to behave like a normal nation, right, stop being the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, stop launching missiles through proxies, stop attacking our embassies and consulates. When we get those basic things in place, President Trump’s made very clear we’d love Iran to rejoin the community of nations, but their revolutionary zeal causes them to be a bad actor and they need to shape up. And if they do, we’ll get it right.
QUESTION: Well, again, you and John Kerry have gone back and forth on this – former Secretary of State, Barack Obama – has met four times with Iranian leadership, and you guys criticized, saying that’s not appropriate given – it’s – you can’t have two-track foreign policy here. But he responded by saying “there’s nothing unusual, let alone unseemly or inappropriate, about former diplomats meeting with foreign counterparts.” Secretary of State Kissinger’s done it for decades with Russia and China. “What is unseemly and unprecedented… for the podium of the State Department to be hijacked for political theatrics.”
SECRETARY POMPEO: Secretary Kerry can’t seem to get off the stage, and you have to. When I’m the former Secretary, I’ll get off. Every previous former secretary’s done that too. It’s one thing to meet with your counterpart; it’s another thing to do what Secretary Kerry, Wendy Sherman, Ernest Moniz, frankly the whole gang has done, which is to actively seek to undermine what President Trump is trying to achieve. It’s okay to talk with them, but you have to be working for America, working for American foreign policy, and they’re not. They’re working for the foreign policy that is theirs, not the one that belongs to the United States.
QUESTION: Our own Dana Perino last week had Kerry on, and he did not deny that he wanted to basically tell the Iranians – whether he told the – to wait it out for the next administration. And he said everybody around the world is trying to wait this out. At what point does the administration pursue some type of legal action against former Secretary Kerry and others from the former administration?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, I’ll leave the legal action to others. I’m trying to execute America’s foreign policy, and they are not only unhelpful, but they are acting in ways that are harmful to achieving what’s best for the American people, and that’s my criticism. Stop it. Let it go. You had your day. We think you fundamentally got it wrong with Iran, and we’re trying to make it right for America.