In remarks aimed at Donald Trump, Secretary of State John Kerry said “seeking to rattle people is not objective, number one, most of the time” in foreign policy.
Last week, President Obama said fellow world leaders are “rattled by [Trump] — and for good reason — because a lot of the proposals that he’s made display either ignorance of world affairs, or a cavalier attitude, or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is that is required to keep America safe and secure and prosperous, and what’s required to keep the world on an even keel.”
Trump responded at a press conference in North Dakota: “When you rattle someone, that’s good. If they’re rattled in a friendly way, that’s a good thing … not a bad thing.”
On MSNBC Wednesday night, Kerry stressed that he’s “not permitted to get in the middle of the election and I don’t want to.”
“But I can’t help but say that as I meet with my counterparts all around the world and as I engage with other countries, they are very concerned about the quality of what’s happened to America, and it’s a clarity of leadership, if you will,” Kerry said. “And I think the bombast and the dividing language is very hard for some people to digest even as we are working to undo sectarian divisions and old religious overtones to different conflicts. We need our voice to be above reproach and I think, right now, people are really wondering about where we’re heading.”
On Trump saying that rattling other countries is a good thing, Kerry replied that “we’re not doing a Trump hotel business deal.”
“These are dealings between nations based on precedent, based on understandings, based on the trust from one administration to another. This is an ongoing relationship. And when you’re dealing with nuclear weapons and you’re dealing with war and you’re dealing with the life and death choices that the president of the United States have to make everyday, seeking to rattle people is not objective, number one, most of the time,” he said.
Kerry stressed that any president who would rip up the Paris climate accord “would be reckless, counter productive, self-destructive.”
“It would be an act of extraordinary danger to our country because of the path that would put us on both in terms of our global leadership on the issues as well as the actual policies that we need to implement and it would, in the end, be an act of ignorance, of utter unbelievable contemptuous ignorance to get rid of something that the world has worked for since 1992 in Rio and recognizing the evidence that we have today,” he said.
“Last month, April, was the hottest month in the history of our recording weather. The month before that was the hottest month. In fact, every month of last year was hotter than its previous months of any time in history. The last decade was the hottest decade in the history of the world. The decade before that was the second hottest. The decade before that was the third hottest. Somewhere people ought to be catching on to what is happening. Much more intensive storms, billions of dollars we are spending to clean up after these storms, much larger rainfalls, much changed patterns of drought, of rain, much greater heat, crops that are migrating, species that are migrating, refugees that are being created in various parts of the world as a result of lack of water or fights over food or the fact that they have to move from where they live today.”
The secretary of State continued that “to talk about just casually without even understanding the work that has gone into it or the rationale for it, ripping it up, would be one of the most reckless, irresponsible, historically wrong acts I could think of.”
“And I think that, you know, people are waking up now to the fact that the solution to climate change is actually energy policy, energy policy which creates jobs, which makes you healthier, which lives up to environmental responsibility, which saves all kind of environmental assets that we have, and which ultimately fulfills our responsibility to future generations,” he added. “…I fully anticipate that the American people understand this issue and are committed to finding leadership that understands it also.”