During an impromptu press conference Thursday afternoon, President Trump addressed negotiations with Iran, saying "I'd like to see them call me." Trump also accused former Secretary of State John Kerry of telling the Iranians not to negotiate. Kerry led negotiations with Iran during the Obama administration that culminated in the nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from.
"John Kerry tells them not to call," Trump said. "But John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He's talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and many phone calls. And he's telling them what to do."
"But they should call, and if they do, we're open to talk to them. We have no secrets," he added.
QUESTION: What did Iran do to prompt you to send an aircraft carrier to the--the region?
TRUMP: Well, they were threatening, and we have information--
QUESTION: --Is there a risk--is there a risk--
TRUMP: --We have information that you don't want to know about. They were very threatening, and we just want to have--we have to have great security for this country and for a lot of other places.
QUESTION: Is there a risk of military confrontation, sir?
TRUMP: I guess you could say that always, right? Isn't it, I mean, you know, always? I don't want to say no, but hopefully that won't happen. We have one of the most powerful ships in the world that's loaded up, and we don't want to have to do anything.
But I'd like to see--with Iran, I'd like to see them call me. You know, John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That's a violation of the Logan Act. And frankly, he should be prosecuted on that. But my people don't want to do anything that's--only the Democrats do that kind of stuff you know? If it were the opposite way, they'd prosecute him under the Logan Act.
But John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He's talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and many phone calls. And he's telling them what to do. That is a total violation of the Logan Act, because what they should be doing is--their economy is a mess ever since I took away the Iran deal. They have inflation that's the highest number I've ever heard. They are having riots every weekend and during the week even.
And what they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down. We can make a deal, fair deal. We just don't want them to have nuclear weapons, not too much to ask. And we would help put them back into great shape. They're in bad shape right now. I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy.
But they're listening to John Kerry, who violated a very important element of what he's supposed to be doing. He violated the Logan Act, plain and simple. He shouldn't be doing that. But they should call, and if they do, we're open to talking to them. We have no secrets. And they can be very, very strong financially. They have great potential, very much like North Korea.
North Korea has tremendous potential economically. And I don't think he's going to blow that. I don't think so.