Maggie Haberman of The New York Times claimed that National Security Advisor, John Bolton, is reportedly being “tuned out” by President Trump.
Haberman’s remarks, made on CNN’s “New Day” this week, followed a move by the president calling off air strikes against Iran after he had initially approved them.
“The president, according to my reporting, has become more skeptical of what he hears from John Bolton,” Haberman told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
“This is somebody who has had a certain view of the way things should be for a very long time. That is sometimes at odds with what this president wants,” she added. “He’s known to say John wants war. I think he tunes out what he hears more often than not.”
Trump aborted a planned pre-dawn U.S. military strike on multiple targets in Iran after the nation shot down a $130 million unmanned U.S. drone.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 21, 2019
While Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly favored a military response in retaliation, top Pentagon officials urged caution as escalating tensions could put Americans in the region at risk.
“I think he has two conflicting impulses,” Haberman said on CNN. “I think he was getting conflicting advice at least from certain people he listens to. I think within his government, there was a fairly uniform view. Not necessarily everybody, but a uniform view that if you don’t do something, that is also sending a signal to Iran.”
And while Fox News host Sean Hannity warned that Trump “will bomb the hell out of” Iran, his colleague Tucker Carlson had reportedly been speaking to the president privately against military action, criticizing Pompeo and Bolton.
According to a report in the Daily Beast:
A source familiar with the conversations told The Daily Beast that, in recent weeks, the Fox News host has privately advised Trump against taking military action against Iran. And a senior administration official said that during the president’s recent conversations with the Fox primetime host, Carlson has bashed the more “hawkish members” of his administration.
With the president’s reversal on the planned strikes just 10 minutes before scheduled, it seemed as if Carlson’s advice – among others – may have played a part in his decision as Haberman noted Trump’s apparent regard for Bolton.
On Friday’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Fox News host praised the president for his decision against the retaliatory strike but he unleashed a scathing rebuke on Bolton.
(Video: Fox News)
Calling the late night decision “a high point” for Trump, Carlson slammed a CNN national security analyst who attacked the president “for not killing enough people.”
“Bombing Iran would have ended his political career in a minute. There would be no chance of re-election after that. Ill-advised wars are like doing cocaine, the initial rush rises your poll numbers but the crash is inevitable,” Carlson said, noting the close call came because “the neocons still wield enormous power in Washington.”
He recounted a past interview with Bolton who denied “ever being wrong ever, about anything” and added that “there’s nothing normal about John Bolton.”
“John Bolton is a bureaucratic tapeworm. You can’t expel him. He seems to live forever in the bowels of the federal agencies, reemerging to cause pain and suffering but critically, somehow never suffering himself,” Carlson said.
His life really is Washington in a nutshell. Blunder into the obvious catastrophes again and again, refuse to admit blame, then demand more of the same. That is the John Bolton life in between administration Jobs there are always cushy speaking posts, cable news contracts,” Carlson continued.
“War may be a disaster for America,” he concluded, “but for John Bolton and his fellow neocons, it’s always good business.”
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