Trump believes he has 'no choice' but to launch a 'massive retaliation' for Iran strikes: CNN's Jim Acosta
US President Donald Trump has an unpredictable negotiating style and likes to break with precedent. (AFP/File / SAUL LOEB)

On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that Trump believes he is boxed into escalating against Iran after the ballistic missile strikes on U.S. troops.

"I wanted to pass along something I picked up from a source close to the White House who has spoken with the president in recent days," said Acosta. "This source essentially saying that the president has no choice at this point but to retaliate against Iran, based on some of the talk that this source heard down at Mar-a-Lago and some of the other things that the president has been saying."

"According to source, he's already set a standard that he's going to do a massive retaliation," continued Acosta. "'If he fails to do that, I think he looks weak.' Those are the words coming to a source close to the White House that has spoken with the president in recent days. I have spoken with other Republican officials up on Capitol Hill, and there is a concern ... even on the Republican side of the aisle that this thing could get out of control."

"Obviously, we haven't heard from the president yet," added Acosta. "We don't have a full assessment as to what damage has been done on the ground in Iraq, but this is a significant moment for the president and people who are close to this president seem to understand that all too well at this moment."

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