Under President Donald Trump, tensions between the United States and Iran are mounting higher, with top officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton itching to pull the trigger on a military engagement.
But as conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks noted on Friday’s edition of PBS “NewsHour,” Trump is unlikely to pull the trigger on war, because he is in a difficult situation on the world stage.
“I’d say the big minus is how he’s treated all our alliances, which makes all those issues harder,” said Brooks. “But his general posture is one of, sometimes, extreme bellicosity, with no convincing idea he’s actually going to do anything about these things. And so I think we’re not very close to a war in Iran. He’s loathe to do that, he’d be crazy to do that.”
Trump has taken a hardline stance on Iran from day one, and last year took the United States out of compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that secured a nuclear deal with Iran. Other countries that America jointly entered into the agreement with are still attempting to enforce it, but Iran has retaliated by moving to restore some of its nuclear technology.
Recent reports have suggested Trump does not want to declare war on Iran, and is increasingly frustrated with officials in his administration who are pushing it as an option.
Trump is ‘a profoundly lawless individual’: Presidential biographer tells Democrats to wake up and go after president
On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, in the wake of the Ukraine scandal, presidential biographer Bloomberg Opinion executive editor Tim O'Brien laid out how President Donald Trump's presidency has become a pure exercise in criminality — and how House Democrats need to treat this as the threat that it is.
"The Democrats are looking at this as a chess board," said O'Brien. "Republicans see it as a knife fight. They're not even trying to play chess. They've been playing politics at the electoral level and in the Congress by simply trying to rip the spine out of anybody who opposes them. The Democrats are trying to figure out what's the right thing. I honor that, but as long as they sit back and are more concerned about appearances or not upsetting the table, Republicans are going to run circles around them, both electorally and when it comes to Donald Trump."
Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install a new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran
Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.
Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.
"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."
GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why
In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.