President Trump insinuated Senator Chris Murphy tried to circumvent American foreign policy through violation of the Logan Act when he met with Iran foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“I saw that … Senator Murphy met with the Iranians; is that a fact?” Trump asked reporters. “I just saw that on the way over. Is there anything that I should know? Because that sounds like to me a violation of the Logan Act.”
Murphy admitted to the meeting, justifying his actions by saying “it’s dangerous not to talk to adversaries.”
The Connecticut Democrat met with Zarif at the Munich Security Conference this past weekend, amidst heightened tensions and a new administration policy of isolating the rogue nation.
Murphy, according to Fox News, claimed “he told Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Congress is also responsible for setting U.S. foreign policy.”
President Trump: “I saw that…Senator Murphy met with the Iranians; is that a fact? I just saw that on the way over. Is there anything that I should know? Because that sounds like to me a violation of the Logan Act.” pic.twitter.com/qOEwDaRptR
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 18, 2020
Admits Dems Have Been Advising Iran For Years
Murphy published a series of tweets on Tuesday noting that he and other unnamed Democrat senators did, in fact, conduct a secret meeting with Zarif.
But, he suggested, it was not their intent to sidestep the foreign policy coming from the White House.
“If Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should,” Murphy insisted. “And Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that any congressional meetings with Zarif were not authorized and offered very serious reasons why.
“This guy is designated by the United States,” Pompeo fumed. “He’s the foreign minister for a country that shot down an airliner and has yet to turn over the black boxes.”
“This is the foreign minister of a country that killed an American on December 27,” he continued. “This is the foreign minister of a country that is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and the world’s largest sponsor of anti-Semitism.”
Murphy, undaunted by the criticism and obvious insubordination toward the administration, admitted Democrats have been doing this for years.
“Many of us have met [with] Zarif over the years, under Obama and Trump,” Murphy tweeted. “So though no one in Congress can negotiate with Zarif or carry official U.S. government messages, there is value in having a dialogue.”
3/ Congress is a co-equal branch to the executive. We set foreign policy too. Many of us have met w Zarif over the years, under Obama and Trump. So though no one in Congress can negotiate with Zarif or carry official U.S. government messages, there is value in having a dialogue.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 18, 2020
Here’s the icing on the cake for this meeting with Iran’s foreign minister: Murphy, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, suggested that President Trump’s policy towards Iran may be motivated by the election.
“I think many of us worry that as the election approaches, the president may also be interested in sort of rattling sabers, whether it’s in the Middle East or in other regions of the world,” he stated.
“We certainly worry that while the window closes for mediation [between Iran and the U.S.] the aperture may open for the president to act in provocative ways that may provide him electoral benefit.”
The statements suggest Murphy wasn’t just trying to circumvent foreign policy, but the meeting had his own electoral concerns and benefits in mind.
For a party so concerned with outside election interference, meeting with a terrorist nation to blunt any perceived benefits that military action might have against a rogue terrorist nation seems highly suspect.
That said, the Logan Act has been consistently unenforceable and gets little media attention – unless the violator happens to be an associate of Trump.
“Any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy – even during a transition period – may be illegal and must be taken seriously,” Senator Murphy said in 2017 regarding former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.
Murphy’s own words seem to indicate that he himself may have acted illegally and the allegations ‘must be taken seriously.’