Good Friday morning.
Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:
- The president receives his intelligence briefing
- President Trump has lunch with the secretary of State
- The president and first lady receive a 2019 hurricane briefing
- The president and first lady participate in the congressional picnic
New York Times: Trump was ready to strike but then pulled back
Corporate media’s flagship scandal sheet The New York Times is reporting that President Trump was ready to strike Iran but suddenly pulled back. We all know how reliable the Times and their “sources” are, so take it with a grain of salt.
President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.
As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.
The Times also said the WH did not ask the “news” paper to hold the story. I suspect the administration wants it out there that Trump had his finger on the boom-boom button but changed his mind. The president campaigned against the neocon, bloodlusty, nation-building tours we’ve come to expect from the GOP elites. He is not looking for a war and he made that clear on Thursday. Not so much for his advisors. “Mr. Trump’s national security advisers split about whether to respond militarily. Senior administration officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, had favored a military response. But top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for American forces in the region.”
Reuters is reporting that Trump sent a warning to Iran via Oman. “In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues…He gave a short period of time to get our response but Iran’s immediate response was that it is up to Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei to decide about this issue,” one of the officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A second Iranian official said: “We made it clear that the leader is against any talks, but the message will be conveyed to him to make a decision…However, we told the Omani official that any attack against Iran will have regional and international consequences.”
The Democrats are confused. They wanted so badly to burp up their pre-fab, anti-war talking points, but Trump isn’t making war. What to do, what to do? Politico has it covered with a piece that was probably pre-written after news broke that Iran shot down our drone: ‘Step back from the brink of war’: Democrats slam Trump on report he ordered Iran strikes. The Democrats needed some opportunity to seem relevant and Politico delivered. But why would anyone care about foreign policy strategy from the party who secretly gave the Iranian terror regime billions of dollars and pulled back sanctions to sign a nuclear “deal” with no oversight?
Let’s be honest, there are plenty of things the U.S. can do that don’t involve invasion and bombs: bank accounts can be emptied, people can disappear. It can be very dangerous to be an Iranian agent walking freely around Latin America and Africa. Things happen. “No comment.”
Hope Hicks closed-door testimony
I haven’t had a chance to read her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yet but the Democrats are upset that Hicks was prevented from answering many of their questions on account of the president exercising executive privilege. Nadler’s booster seat is sure getting a workout.
Creepy Uncle Joe round up
Your daily WTF:
Horrible. Roy Moore will run for Senate again
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!