President Trump slammed The New York Times Monday for a story concerning alleged plans to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East in preparation for a war with Iran.
Trump declared that the piece is ‘fake news’, but noted that if conflict does break out then he will send “a hell of a lot more” troops.
“I think it’s fake news, OK?” Trump said, but added “Now would I do that? Absolutely.”
“But I have not planned for that.” The President added, noting that “If we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
Q: "Are you planning to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East in response to Iran?"
President Trump: "I think it's fake news. Okay? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But, we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that." pic.twitter.com/7lu0uX4U7O
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 14, 2019
The Times report suggested that a confidential military plan was placed into the hands of to senior national security officials last week by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
The plan reportedly cited a ramping up of Iran’s nuclear program as a precursor for sending troops.
The Times alleges that John Bolton, who has been pushing for conflict with Iran for over a decade, made major modifications to the proposal.
After a major oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia was struck by armed drones, war with Iran now seems possible. Alex explains that, because war with Iran may lead to terror attacks on U.S. soil, President Trump must make the right decision for the American people.
The article notes that the plan stops short of a land invasion of Iran, and suggests that troops would be stationed at existing US bases in the Middle East.
The President told reporters “we’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.”
Trump was clearly unaware of any plan as regards Iran, asking reporters “Where was that story?” Then declaring “Well the New York Times is fake news!” when the reporters informed the President about it.
In response to questions regarding the report, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Tuesday in Sochi, Russia that “the US position on Iran has been consistent.” and that “the US fundamentally doesn’t seek a war with Iran.”