John Kerry has responded to allegations he could be considering a 2020 presidential run, calling the rumors “f**king false” in a since-deleted tweet.
The former Secretary of State was reportedly overheard on a phone call on Sunday at a hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, detailing the steps necessary to launch a last-minute campaign.
“As I told the reporter, I am absolutely not running for President,” Kerry wrote on Twitter. “Any report otherwise is categorically false. I’ve been proud to campaign with my good friend Joe Biden, who is going to win the nomination, beat Trump, and make an outstanding president.”
As I told the reporter, I am absolutely not running for President. Any report otherwise is categorically false. I’ve been proud to campaign with my good friend Joe Biden, who is going to win the nomination, beat Trump, and make an outstanding president.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) February 2, 2020
A prior version of the tweet was quickly deleted and edited for coarse language before being reposted, but not before many users grabbed screenshots of the original statement, which read, in part, “Any report otherwise is fucking (or categorically) false.”
Why’d you delete this tweet? pic.twitter.com/I8kXWwQeEW
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 2, 2020
NBC News ignited a firestorm on Sunday after reporting Kerry had been heard running through a hypothetical scenario in which he intervened in the 2020 Democrat primaries to thwart “the possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party — down whole.”
“Sitting in the lobby restaurant of the Renaissance Savery hotel, Kerry was overheard by an NBC News analyst saying ‘maybe I’m f—ing deluding myself here’ and explaining that to run, he’d have to step down from the board of Bank of America and give up his ability to make paid speeches,” NBC reported. “Kerry said donors like venture capitalist Doug Hickey would have to ‘raise a couple of million,’ adding that such donors ‘now have the reality of Bernie.'”
When NBC asked Kerry for clarification later in the day, he said, “This is a complete and total misinterpretation based on overhearing only one side of a phone conversation.”
“A friend who watches too much cable called me wondering whether I’d ever jump into the race late in the game if Democrats were choosing an unelectable nominee. I listed all the reasons I could not possibly do that and would not — and will not under any circumstances — do that.”
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