By Katherine Iorio
WASHINGTON (CBS News) - Secretary of the State John Kerry criticized the open letter signed by 47 Republican senators to Iran's leaders, calling it "unprecedented" and "unconstitutional" during an appearance Sunday on "Face The Nation."
The lead U.S. diplomat denounced the "calculated" attempt to "interfere" with negotiations over Iran's nuclear program during an interview in Egypt with CBS News State Department Correspondent Margaret Brennan.
"It's false information and directly calculated to interfere and basically say, 'Don't negotiate with them, you've got to negotiate with 535 members of Congress,'" Kerry said. "That's unprecedented -- unprecedented."
His comments were covered by the Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg, New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Washington Times, Voice of America, The Daily Beast, the Daily Signal, The Guardian, Financial Times, European News, CNN and MSNBC.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who wrote the controversial letter, said later on the show that his intent was to send a clear message to Iranian leaders that Congress has a say in the nuclear issue.
"I can tell you, they are not hearing that message from Geneva," Cotton said. "In fact, if you look at the response of the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, it underscores the need for the letter in the first place, because he made it clear that he does not understand our constitutional system. He thinks that international law can override our Constitution."
Turning to the heated Hilary Clinton email scandal, where the State Department is reviewing which of her emails can be released to the public, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Clinton's lawyers have asked the House committee he sits on that is investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks to release the e-mails they have from her.
"Every federal employee under federal regulations has the responsibility to determine what is personal and what's official. She made that judgment. I listened to her carefully. And I believe her," Cummings said. "I we have issues with Hillary Clinton, we have to keep in mind, number one, she's been extremely cooperative with our committee."