Perhaps you should sit down for this. Apparently the DOPUS’ original account of the airstrike that wasn’t … was not completely accurate.
In a series of tweets on Friday morning, the president stated that the U.S. military was “cocked and loaded” on Thursday night to hit Iran before he changed his mind, stating that “10 minutes before the strike” he stopped it after being informed by “a General” of the potential loss of 150 lives.
It remains unclear whether the general was big and strong and had tears in his eyes.
The president’s Friday tweets caused widespread confusion within Trumpworld, with some interpreting the tweets to mean that Trump wasn’t told, or didn’t ask, about a potential body count until minutes before the strikes would have taken place.
But that wasn’t the case, as The Washington Post first reported. Trump was initially briefed on Thursday for military options to retaliate against Iran for downing a U.S. surveillance drone. One of the things his advisers discussed with him was the potential for a high Iranian body count. With the possible death toll made clear, the president approved the preparations for striking Iran.
“Yes, he was briefed on it earlier in the day,” a senior administration official said.
“The military has a standard in which the president is briefed on a potential strike—the battle damage assessment is included in that,” added a former national security official involved in past briefings. “It’s always part of the package. And that includes possible military and civilian casualties.”
But apparently when he created his first version of what completely and absolutely happened 100% believe me, he decided that getting information and acting on it like a normal person wasn’t deciderer-y enough. Then, as usual, he started to change his mind about the narrative that made him look best.
Later on Friday, Trump fed the confusion further, telling NBC News’ Chuck Todd that he hadn’t given a final approval to a military strike against Iran at all—even though he tweeted that the attack was 10 minutes out.
And he forgot exactly why he was ordering a strike against Iran, which is even less reassuring than usual.
“I thought about it for a second and I said, you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with a 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead,” Trump said. “And I didn’t like it…I didn’t think it was proportionate.”
Iran shot down big sky machine of power, Kronarnge says it is time for war! Or maybe not. At least for now.
It’s unclear if the president is considering striking Iran at all in the near future. But two former Trump White House officials told The Daily Beast that they feared that if the president saw TV pundits knocking his decision to pull back—including those on his favorite channel Fox News—it would increase the likelihood the president would actually end up confronting Iran militarily, and soon. Trump hates being portrayed as “weak,” these former officials added.
Are they sure he hates it? Because what with all the shouting and the being wrong and the flailing and the whining and threatening to go to war over a piece of equipment he’s awfully good at it.