Trump blasts Kerry’s climate activism for ‘destroying our country’ in Iowa town hall: ‘He has to be stopped’

President Donald Trump criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry for his climate activism in a town hall meeting in Iowa on Tuesday, calling his efforts to combat global warming “destructive” for the United States.

“John Kerry – he has to be stopped,” Trump said to a crowd of about 500 people. “He’s destroying our country” with ill-advised climate change deals.

The president went on to criticize Kerry for what he said were deals that gave foreign countries better treatment than the United States, adding that “they’re all laughing” at the United States when Kerry does this.

“John Kerry, I have no respect for him,” Trump said. “I hope he runs for president someday, because he will be so easy to beat.”

The president further stated that Kerry was wrong in pushing for the Paris Climate Agreement, which the Trump administration withdrew from in June 2017. Trump argued that it was bad for American jobs, commerce, and the economy in general.

Trump appeared to be echoing the sentiments of Iowa’s own Republican leaders. Earlier this month, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Kim Reynolds penned a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the United States to take a tougher stance against the United Nations, saying that countries such as China, India, and Russia are not taking sufficient action to reduce emissions.

Kerry, a former Democratic senator from Massachusetts, has been an ardent climate activist, working outside of government to combat global warming. He’s the co-founder of World War Zero, which is a coalition of soldiers, business leaders, and academics who are advocating for concerted climate action.