Trump to reveal fate of Iran nuclear deal

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," May 7, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Signing that horrible deal, and they're marching in the streets saying death to America. I said who signs a deal when they're marching saying death to America?

IRANIAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI: In this issue Americans will be the main losers. Loss and failure will be for them in the end. We will continue our path.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: After all the back and forth, all the talk on the campaign trail and every place else, the president saying he will announce his decision on the Iran nuclear deal tomorrow 2:00 p.m. eastern time. We will have that of course. He also tweeted today concern. He said "The United States does not need John Kerry's possibly illegal shadow diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran deal. He was one that created this mess in the first place." John Kerry trying to save this deal. A spokesman putting out this statement. "I think every American would want every voice possible urging Iran to remain in compliance with the nuclear agreement that prevented a war. Secretary Kerry stays in touch with his former counterparts around the world just like every previous secretary of state. Like America's closest allies he believes it's important that the nuclear agreement which took the world years to negotiate remain effective as countries focus on stability in the region."

And that's fine but he's not in the administration now and this administration thinks differently it seems. Let's bring in our panel: Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics co-founder and president; Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio; and Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist.

Mollie, it seems that John Kerry is fighting to save the deal that he negotiated.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: And it's also interesting because for a year and a half, we've had everyone in the media and law enforcement claim with a straight face that there's something call the Logan Act, which is this 18th century law that prohibits people from doing freelance work with foreign governments. It is clearly unconstitutional. It would never be enforced. And yet it was used to query Mike Flynn and contrary to what James Comey said in his interview with you, that was the interview where the FBI agent said that he gave no evidence of lying. And yet it was because they were doing a Logan Act query, supposedly because he shouldn't have been talking to Ambassador Kislyak as part of his duties --

BAIER: As the incoming --

HEMINGWAY: They said that they were really concerned. And here you have John Kerry who has no role in the administration doing freelance work trying to save a deal but it's completely contravening the goal of the Trump administration. And all those people who were claiming that the Logan Act was a real thing are oddly silent right now.

BAIER: Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal: "At least Michael Flynn was the incoming NSA," national security adviser, "engaged in the common practice of transition officials setting for governance. Waiting for Sally Yates to tweet her dismay and grave concern." Here is John Kerry's former running mate and his thoughts about this story.


FORMER SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, D-CONN.: This is a surprising story. So I'd say this, the Logan Act really hasn't been enforced for a long time. John Kerry is not negotiating on behalf of the U.S. government. I hope everybody he's talking to knows that. But in my opinion what he's doing is inappropriate and he shouldn't be doing it.


BAIER: Of course Senator Lieberman ran not with John Kerry but Al Gore. But he was a running mate.


BAIER: Just pointing that out. Moving on. Mara, Joe Lieberman says --

LIASSON: I think he explained it pretty well. John Kerry was not negotiating on behalf of the U.S. government, but what he did was inappropriate. But what's interesting, if John Kerry wanted to lobby somebody, he should be lobbying Donald Trump. If he's over in Europe he's talking to people who already agree with him and have failed, although they tried mightily, to convince Donald Trump to stay in the agreement and try to negotiate some other side agreements to address his concerns about Iran's bad behavior.

BAIER: But at the White House, there is not a feeling like anything but pulling out the deal.

LIASSON: I certainly haven't gotten any other indicate. But the big questions remain. What happens after we pull out? The sanctions snap back on our end. The Europeans, the other signatories to this deal, say they are not going to put back sanctions. So what does that mean? If European companies keep on doing business with Iran, does Donald Trump sanction those European countries? This I think will be the biggest rift between Trump and our European allies ever, bigger than Paris, bigger than moving the embassy in Jerusalem, bigger than TPP. This is a big split. And you just had Merkel and Macron over here trying everything they could think of to get him to stay in.

BAIER: It was parade of those voices. Tom, what do you think?

TOM BEVAN, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: This is a problem with the Iran deal in the first place, how the Obama administration went about it. It should have been a treaty. It should have gone through Congress. Because they did an end run around Congress and tried to call it not a treaty, it can be undone without having to go through Congress. That's a position that everyone is facing right now, and I think there is every indication that Trump is going to pull out as of tomorrow.

BAIER: Here is the foreign secretary of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, on this deal.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The president has been right to call attention to it. Buy you've got to do that without just throwing the baby out with a bottle water, without scrapping the whole thing. If you do that, you have to answer the question, what next? What if the Iranians do rush for a nuclear weapon. Are we seriously saying that we're going to bomb those facilities at Qom and Fordow and Natanz? Is that really a realistic possibility? Or do we work with what we've got and push back on Iran together.


BAIER: Mollie?

HEMINGWAY: Obviously it's a bad deal. And obviously Barack Obama could have gotten a better deal. And one of the things that's very frustrating about it is the U.S. gave a lot at the front end with the hopes that Iran would have more to provide at the backend. So I think Mara is absolutely right here. The question is, you can agree that it's a bad deal, but what happens now? What happens if the U.S. departs but Iran and Europe stay together? Are we going to do secondary sanctions? What is the plan after this? It might be better to have some kind of construct around Iran than no construct, even though I think it's hard to say this is anything other than a very bad deal.

BAIER: I just want to go back to the Kerry thing very quickly, and this is Sarah Sanders on that whole shadow diplomacy charge.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the president spoke out about that clearly. And I don't think that we would take advice from somebody who created what the president sees to be one of the worst deals ever made. I'm not sure why we would start listening to him now.


BAIER: We talk about the Logan Act and Michael Flynn. Sally Yates did use the Logan Act against Michael Flynn and raised concerns about that in his dealings with the Russians. Yet there does not seem to be this big to do about Kerry.

LIASSON: The argument against that is they're not parallel. In other words, Michael Flynn was going to be a U.S. official really soon, so he could act as a shadow diplomats and say just in a matter of weeks here's what we're going to be doing. But John Kerry is not negotiating on behalf of the United States government with anybody. He's over there as a private citizen.

HEMINGWAY: As you pointed out, though, he's talking to Iran because I think there is this idea if Iran and Europe can save the Obama deal that will be good enough for the people who crafted that deal. That absolutely is doing sort of freelance --

LIASSON: Yes, but he's not working on behalf of the United States government.

HEMINGWAY: That's the whole point.

BAIER: He's outside of the administration. Here is Rouhani on that essentially no change will occur.


ROUHANI: No change will occur in our lives next week. We have devised plan for any possible decision that Trump might make and we'll resist to it. We tell the whole world, America, Europe, the east and the west, we will not negotiate with anyone over our country's weapons and defense. We will build and stockpile weapons, equipment, and missiles as much as our country requires.



BEVAN: You want to know why I think Trump is right that this is a bad deal, because the Iranians are so excited to keep it. They're doing everything they can to try and stay in this deal, and I think that's one of the tells. I'd also just add with John Kerry, if he wants to lobby and he wants to advocate, write an op-ed in the New York Times, send an open letter. But to meet privately with a foreign minister covertly to try and do this, that is unethical. That is inappropriate, as Joe Lieberman said.

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