Waltz Presses John Kerry on Flying Private, Shadow Diplomacy
Washington, July 13, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, during a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing, U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) pressed Special Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry about his travel on, and ownership of, a private jet, as well as his shadow diplomacy with the Iran Regime during the Trump Administration.
Watch the full exchange here.
“In an exchange with Mr. Mills, you just testified under oath that you never owned a private jet,” said Waltz. Waltz entered into the record an article from February 15, 2023 entitled ‘John Kerry family private jet sold shortly after accusations of climate hypocrisy.’
Waltz questioned, “Mr. Secretary, do you stand by that testimony that you have never owned, nor your family [has ever owned a plane]?”
“Yes, my wife owned a plane,” responded Secretary Kerry after denying personally owning a plane himself. When asked if he flew on that plane, Secretary Kerry said, “Not in a number of years but I have flown on it.”
“This article is then not inaccurate that your family owned a plane, you flew on a plane,” Waltz continued. “Mr. Secretary, here’s the issue. This isn’t some kind of partisan ‘gotcha.’ When we are asking Americans to make serious sacrifices, as we transition, for the common good, and your family and/or yourself are flying around on private jets, that smacks of hypocrisy and it actually, hurts your cause.”
“Have you flown on a private jet, in a personal or official capacity since you have taken this position?” asked Waltz. Kerry responded, “possibly once.”
“We are asking you to lead by example, Mr. Secretary,” said Waltz. Waltz went on to ask Secretary Kerry to provide Congress with his taxpayer-funded travel records. Secretary Kerry agreed.
Next, Waltz questioned Secretary Kerry on his shadow diplomacy, meetings, and communications with Former Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif during the previous administration.
“According to leaked audio, provided by the New York Times, Zarif said you told him that Israel attacked Syrian assets in Syria ‘at least two hundred times’ and Zarif was surprised you would reveal such sensitive information. Now, that was leaked audio, now, under oath, do you stand by your previous denial that that ever happened?” asked Waltz.
Secretary Kerry denied having that conversation.
“Would you find it appropriate if a former Trump Administration official traveled around and talked to the same officials that you are and said, ‘you do not have to abide by these agreements, hold fast until 2024, a new administration may be coming in,’ and therefore, undermining current administration diplomacy,” asked Waltz. Secretary Kerry refused to answer.
Waltz continued, “Shadow diplomacy undermines American goals.”
“Shadow diplomacy has also saved us from a war, if you look at 1963 with the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was behind the scenes, backchannel conversations,” said Secretary Kerry.
“I would posture that your shadow diplomacy now has us on the verge of Iran having a nuclear weapon, that is now exploding as they race towards full enrichment from twenty percent to sixty percent, on the verge of having a nuclear weapon and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” said Waltz. “As Americans we do not undermine other administrations.”