The Obama administration broke its silence Thursday on the case of a U.S. Marine imprisoned in Mexico on gun charges, with a State Department spokeswoman confirming that Secretary of State John Kerry “raised the issue” during meetings this week in Mexico City.
Spokeswoman Jen Psaki also said Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been visited 11 times by U.S. consular officials.
“Obviously this is a case we’ve been concerned about, hence we’ve raised it,” she said, when asked about Tahmooressi by Fox News.
A spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who has tried to bring national attention to the case, said this is a “good” development but “still not enough.”
“The big question is what are you going to do from here?” spokesman Joe Kasper said. “Kerry bringing it up evidently hasn’t gotten Andrew out of jail.”
U.S. lawmakers are starting to get more involved in bringing attention to Tahmooressi’s situation. Tahmooressi has been jailed in Mexico since April 1, and has a hearing coming up.
Psaki would not go into detail about what Kerry might have said during his two-day visit to Mexico, which ends Thursday. He did meet Wednesday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“We’ve been very engaged,” Psaki said, adding U.S. diplomats have spoken with “numerous Mexican officials” about it. She also noted: “Within a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s law and regulations.”
The comments come after criticism from Hunter that President Obama and Kerry were ignoring the Marine’s plight.
“I don’t think Kerry gives a damn about this guy,” Hunter, R-Calif., told FoxNews.com earlier Thursday.