A Tale of Two Secretaries

A Tale of Two Secretaries

September 17, 2018

When he left his post as Secretary of State on January 20, 2017, you may have thought John Kerry's days of touring the globe downplaying American exceptionalism were over. Not so fast.

Over the past few months, America's former chief diplomat hasn't quite put the diplomacy game aside. The man who brought us the Iran nuclear deal (which President Trump scrapped earlier this year) has been at it again. The former Secretary of State recently revealed that he has been holding meetings with Iranian officials without sanction of the Trump administration. President Trump responded via Twitter:

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!

Late last week, Trump's own Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was asked about the president's tweet. Pompeo explained in no uncertain terms that Kerry was out of line:

"What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented. This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror, and according to him -- you don't have to take my word for it; these are his answers -- he was talking to him. He was telling them to wait out this administration," Pompeo said.

"You can't find precedent for this in U.S. history, and Secretary Kerry ought not to engage in that kind of behavior. It's inconsistent with what the foreign policy of the United States is as directed by this president, and it is beyond inappropriate for him to be engaged in this," he said.

Pompeo is right, and Kerry's actions underscore just how different the Trump administration's attitude toward diplomacy is from that of the previous administration. Donald Trump's selection of Mike Pompeo as secretary is a case in point. Under Pompeo's brief tenure, things are getting done at State. From the start, his unprecedented meetings with North Korea showed that Mike Pompeo is a man of action -- a sharp contrast to the shadowy John Kerry.

Mike Pompeo is the first secretary of state to preside over an international religious freedom summit hosted by the U.S. government, an event which is doing much good for those persecuted worldwide like the Uighur Muslims of China. If foreign policy watchers care at all about these horrific situations, they will understand the efforts of Secretary Pompeo and the Trump administration are the best hope these persecuted have. The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom produced the Potomac Declaration, an international religious freedom rallying cry, along with plans for the International Religious Freedom Fund and Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program. These efforts are unprecedented for their possibility of helping correct religious freedom and human rights abuses in every corner of the globe, yet Pompeo's critics would act like they don't exist.

If you'll be attending the 2018 Values Voter Summit this week, you'll get to hear Secretary Pompeo in-person this Friday in Washington, D.C. He'll be discussing the Trump administration's efforts to advance religious freedom around the world. He's just one of the many speakers in the lineup at one of the most exciting venues for social conservatives all year. There's still time to register!

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Also in the September 17 Washington Update:

A Day for a Document, A Day for We the People

The Gipper and the Gospel

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