In an early morning tweet on Friday, President Donald Trump confirmed New York Times reporting that he had suddenly changed his mind on Thursday about a retaliatory strike against Iran and called off the attack at the last moment. The strike was to come in retaliation for Iran’s shootdown on Wednesday of a United States spy drone aircraft.
In his Twitter post Friday, Trump claimed that he reversed his decision to attack because a strike that killed as many as 150 people would not be “proportionate” to Iran’s downing of the unmanned American aircraft. But there may have been another voice in Trump’s ear as well, according to a report Friday morning — a voice from a familiar source of advice for Trump, Fox News.
According to a report by The Daily Beast published on Thursday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has “privately advised” Trump repeatedly in “recent weeks,” warning Trump to avoid a military conflict with Iran.
While it remains unknown whether Carlson and Trump had one of their private conversations on Thursday, according to The Daily Beast Carlson has departed from some of his Fox News colleagues by repeatedly “bashing” Trump’s top advisers on military policy — in particular National Security Adviser John Bolton, who according to an Atlantic Monthly report, has persistently attempted to “goad” Trump into war against Iran.
As The Inquisitr reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin also publicly cautioned against a military conflict with Iran, leading to speculation that it was Putin who changed Trump’s mind about Thursday’s planned attack.
Trump himself on Twitter claimed that the U.S. military was “cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights.”
But if indeed Trump was taking advice from Carlson, either on Thursday or earlier, when it comes to his military posture toward Iran, it would not be the first time that Trump has taken direct advice, even behind the scenes, from a Fox News on-air personality. As The Inquisitr has reported, another of the network’s evening hosts, Sean Hannity, has also been in close private contact with Trump, even ending most evenings by chatting with Hannity on the phone from his bed, while wife Melania sleeps in a separate room.
And in a Politico report, journalist Matthew Gertz of Media Matters For America identified dozens of instances in which Trump tweets directly corresponded to views that had been expressed by the hosts of the morning show Fox & Friends just moments earlier.
Carlson may be an even more problematic source of advice for Trump than Hannity, however. His show has been criticized as an outlet for “white supremacy,” with Media Matter documenting numerous instances of what it called the 50-year-old Carlson’s “public devolution of…thinly veiled racism into full-throated white supremacy.”