Kerry: Trump should be worried about Manafort talking to Mueller, not me talking to Iranians

Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryKerry: Nothing ‘unusual’ or ‘inappropriate’ about meeting with foreign contacts Pompeo: Kerry’s conversations with Iran ‘unseemly and unprecedented’ Trump slams Kerry for ‘illegal’ meetings with Iran MORE fired back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: ‘NO WAY’ Trump pushes back on ex-lawyer putting out book, cites ‘attorney-client privilege’ Wealthiest Republican supporter in Ohio quits party MORE on Friday after the president slammed Kerry’s continued meetings with foreign diplomats from Iran and other countries, calling them “illegal.”

“There’s absolutely nothing unusual about it. The conversation I think he really ought to be worried about is Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortOvernight Health Care: Work rules set to slash Medicaid rolls | Health groups sue over non-ObamaCare plans | Study finds opioid abuse only down slightly in 2017 Federal prosecutors weighing charges against former Obama WH counsel: report Mueller threat to Trump grows with Manafort deal MORE with Mueller,” Kerry said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” referring to Trump’s former campaign chairman who “flipped” on Friday to cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

“It really is giant, and soon you’ll be hearing him say that is the worst that’s ever been made. When you think about it, it’s really gone from the Art of the Deal to the art of the squeal,” he added.

Mr. President, you should be more worried about Paul Manafort meeting with Robert Mueller than me meeting with Iran’s FM. But if you want to learn something about the nuclear agreement that made the world safer, buy my new book, Every Day Is Extra: https://t.co/DKjc33Kvvu https://t.co/cesltkt0zW

— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) September 14, 2018

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Manafort agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team Friday on two federal charges. The deal involves full cooperation with Mueller in his probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election as well as looking at potential obstruction of justice.

Manafort was among the Trump campaign officials who attended the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpMueller threat to Trump grows with Manafort deal Hillicon Valley: Manafort to cooperate with Mueller probe | North Korea blasts US over cyber complaint | Lawmakers grill Google over China censorship | Bezos to reveal HQ2 location by year’s end Trump Jr. accuses Vanity Fair of buying Twitter followers MORE and a Kremlin-linked lawyer who had promised dirt on Hilary Clinton. 

Kerry’s comments Friday are the latest in a feud between the pair this week over Kerry’s maintained contacts with foreign dignitaries after he left the State Department when Trump took office in early 2017.

“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.

John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2018

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoKerry: Nothing ‘unusual’ or ‘inappropriate’ about meeting with foreign contacts Pompeo: Kerry’s conversations with Iran ‘unseemly and unprecedented’ Jimmy Kimmel mocks Pompeo for branding State Department as ‘Department of Swagger’ MORE also called the meetings “unseemly and unprecedented” on Friday.

Kerry played a central role during the Obama administration in crafting the nuclear deal Iran signed with the U.S. and five other world powers in 2015, a deal Trump pulled the U.S. out of in May.

The former secretary of State has denied any wrongdoing regarding the meetings with Iran and other countries.

“We have conversations with people about the state of affairs in the world in order to understand them. We don’t negotiate, we’re not involved in interfering with policy,” Kerry said on Fox News earlier this week. 

“It’s not Iran deal-specific, it’s with respect to trade, it’s with respect to NATO,” he added. 

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