Trump ‘very surprised’ Republican-led committee issued subpoena for his son – live – The Guardian
Donald Trump’s top intelligence, diplomatic and military advisers held a highly unusual meeting at the CIA headquarters last week to discuss Iran, NBC News reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the meeting was convened on 29 April by John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser.
Citing current officials, NBC pointed out it is extremely rare for national security meetings to take place CIA headquarters; they are typically held in the White House Situation Room.
Who was there: CIA director Gina Haspel; acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan; secretary of state Mike Pompeo; director of national intelligence Dan Coats; and General Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
What was said: While details were scarce on the nature of the discussion, it reportedly did not have to do with the US military’s decision to surge a carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Middle East in response to threats in the region from Iran.
The backstory: The Trump presidency ushered in a period of renewed uncertainty between Washington and Tehran.
It was roughly one year ago that the president tore up the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal and subsequently reimposed sanctions on Iran. Last month, the Trump administration escalated tensions further by designating a powerful arm of the Iranian military as a foreign terrorist organization.
Iran announced this week it would no longer comply with parts of the nuclear accord, which was brokered under Barack Obama’s administration.
What Trump says: Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Trump spoke about rising hostility between the US and Iran.
“They’re in bad shape right now. I look forward to the day where we can actually help them. We’re not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy.”
Trump also rebuked John Kerry, the former secretary of state under Obama who led US negotiations with Tehran, for continuing to meet with Iranian officials.
Speaking at the White House on Thursday, the president accused Kerry of violating a US law that criminalizes negotiations by unauthorized individuals with foreign governments engaged in an active dispute with the US.
“He’s talking to Iran and has has many meetings and many phone calls and he’s telling them what to do,” Trump said of Kerry. “And frankly, he should be prosecuted on that.”
A spokesperson for Kerry hit back at Trump stating the president was “wrong about the facts, wrong about the law, and sadly he’s been wrong about how to use diplomacy to keep America safe”.
More from Kerry spokesperson Matt Summers:
Secretary Kerry helped negotiate a nuclear agreement that worked to solve an intractable problem. The world supported it then and supports it still. We’d hope the president would focus on solving foreign policy problems for America instead of attacking his predecessors for theater.”
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