So far, one of the only pieces of good news in the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran is that President Donald Trump has been reluctant to use military force, taking his cues in part from Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has personally warned him that it would end his presidency — resisting the urges of his most trigger-happy advisers like John Bolton.
Now, however, the president appears to be having second thoughts as it becomes clearer that he will not be able to broker a better deal than President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement, and is starting to view the conflict more hawkishly, reported CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Monday.
“At the White House today, the president souring on the idea of a diplomatic deal with Iran as he denies the country’s claims it arrested 17 of its citizens for their connections to an alleged CIA spy ring,” said Collins. “Sources tell CNN that in recent days, Trump has reverted to a more hawkish position on Iran as his public offers to sit down with the country’s leadership have gone unanswered.”
Collins also reported that in the Oval Office with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump remarked that he could have won the war in Afghanistan “in a week” but “I just don’t want to kill ten million people.”
Before taking office, Trump frequently predicted on Twitter that Obama would start a war with Iran for a variety of frivolous reasons, including “to boost his poll numbers” and “to show how tough he is.” When Obama instead negotiated a multilateral nuclear deal, Trump spent years attacking the deal as a disaster and put the United States in violation of the agreement in 2018, which is partially responsible for the current tension.
Trump lawyer cites former GOP senator to discredit impeachment — but leaves out he supports convicting the president
During the Senate impeachment trial on Monday, White House lawyer Robert Ray attempted to contrast the impeachment of President Donald Trump with that of President Richard Nixon, by arguing that unlike in the former case, Republicans came together with Democrats to call for removing Nixon. As part of the comparison, he brought up then-Rep. William Cohen, who went on to become a U.S. senator from Maine and Secretary of Defense for President Bill Clinton.
"Together these six Republicans made history," said Ray. "They did so with no sense of triumph and no fist bumps."
What Ray chose not to mention, however, is that Cohen has specifically weighed in on the Trump case, and said that he should be impeached and removed over the Ukraine scheme.
‘Give me a break’: CNN analyst explains why Trump defense of Rudy Giuliani was terrible
While the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump paused for a dinner break, CNN analysts responded to the White House's afternoon defense of the president was by blaming the Biden family.
Political commentator Gloria Borger noted that Trump lawyer, Eric Herschmann, going after former President Barack Obama just seemed desperate.
"Give me a break," she said. "What does that have to do with any of this right now? His defense boiled down to, 'He did it, so what? He did it. He was trying to root out corruption.' But if he was concerned about rooting out corruption, why haven't we seen more of that? His defense was, 'He had a reason to do it. It's OK. Therefore it was in the national interest.' This wasn't just about Joe Biden."
Trump’s lawyers slammed by CNN’s Toobin for ‘parade of lies’ about Biden’s involvement in Ukraine
On CNN Monday, chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued that the White House team's defense in the impeachment trial was disastrously bad.
"I thought Attorney General [Pam] Bondi did an effective job of showing how sleazy the hiring of Hunter Biden was," acknowledged Toobin. However, he added "her discussion, and Eric Herschmann's discussion, of the role of Joe Biden, vice president at the time, was a parade of lies. Just outrageously false in every fact, in every insinuation ... this idea that he engineered the fire firing of [Ukrainian prosecutor] Viktor Shokin to get his son in. Since Joe Biden is the one who is running for president, that seems to be enormously important."