Kerry: 'We Have Got to Get Away From This Constant Effort to Destroy a Presidency'

July 22, 2018

Former secretary of state John Kerry said on Sunday that the country has to move away from the constant efforts to "destroy" the presidency, no matter who the president is.

"We have got to get away from this constant effort to destroy a presidency, whoever's it is. It is tearing our country apart, and I think it is very, very dangerous for our democracy," Kerry said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Kerry was talking about the potential threat that cyber attacks pose to the country and the growing problem of politicizing these threats.

"This is an ongoing challenge to our country. It is not a Democrat or Republican problem. It has been building for a long period of time under President Bush. Prior to that, ever since we have had an internet there have been escalating series of cyber attacks against corporations and against government entities," Kerry said. "And so this is a problem for all of us as Americans and we have got to depoliticize it."

"Face the Nation" host Margret Brennan asked Kerry if President Barack Obama did more to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin and his meddling in the U.S. election that weren't made public.

"President Trump frequently points out that this election meddling happened on President Obama's watch, you were in the administration at the time. We heard President Obama publicly condemn Russia for doing that but we never saw him publicly confront Vladimir Putin either?" Brennan asked.

"I remember ... being at a meeting where it was disclosed to us by our intel community ... and so you are in the last moments of the presidential campaign and the president already is being accused of being, accused of engaging in trickery and in addition, President Trump had been already publicly talking about the election being fixed, and the process being phony and so forth," Kerry said.

Kerry continued and told the story of when Obama took Putin aside at an event in China and confronted him.

"But I was there in China when the president took President Putin aside, I know what he said to him, we had discussions about it before and after, and he confronted him and the photograph of this I think there were a couple of photographs, the photograph shows a fairly unhappy President Putin. He made it crystal clear what would happen and the minute we were past election day so we didn't wind up in a situation," Kerry said.