President Donald Trump slammed former Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday for reportedly meeting with foreign officials in a bid to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, calling his "shadow diplomacy" a "possibly illegal" act and bashing his role in crafting the international agreement.
"The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal," the president tweeted. "He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!"
According to a Boston Globe report published Friday, Kerry recently met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the United Nations "to discuss ways of preserving the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program." The meeting, according to the report, came as part of a larger campaign by the former secretary of state to preserve the deal, a crowning achievement of his tenure under former President Barack Obama.
Kerry's actions have drawn scrutiny from some conservative figures, who questioned whether the former Obama administration official and Massachusetts senator broke federal law by engaging in unauthorized discussions with foreign officials.
Over the weekend, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, a new member to Trump's legal team, told ABC News that "John Kerry is now violating the Logan Act and nobody seems to care." Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted Saturday that the report on Kerry "working with foreign governments to save the flawed #IranDeal certainly raises Logan Act questions."
The remarks from Trump come as a May 12 deadline approaches for him to decide whether to again renew a waiver of sanctions against Iran as part of the nuclear agreement, a move that would effectively extend the deal.
The president has been highly critical of the agreement and repeatedly threatened to withdraw from it, though he has thus far not followed through.
Trump alluded to the lingering doubt over his next course of action on the deal during a meeting last month with French President Emmanuel Macron, one of several European leaders who have voiced support for the U.S. remaining in the agreement.
"Nobody knows what I am going to do on the 12th," Trump said of the deadline for the agreement.