“The president’s dissatisfaction has crystallized around national security adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires,” the Post reported on May 8.
Channeling pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, Trump may be beginning to recognize that his administration’s stance toward Iran is crazy and that Tehran should call him, maybe. “What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down; we can make a deal, a fair deal. …We’re not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy. But they should call, and if they do, we’re open to talk to them.”
Trump dismissed a New York Times report that the White House was reviewing a plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East—”military plans against Iran, in echoes of Iraq war”—as “fake news.”
“It used to be that the staff around the president were the counterweight to some of his more aggressive impulses. Now it seems as if the situation has reversed itself,” former Trump official Fernando Cutz told the Washington Examiner. “The president is the counterweight to some of his more hawkish staff members, particularly Bolton.”