Amid a series of dramatic reports about the administration’s response to Iran’s escalation of tensions with the U.S., Fox News host Tucker Carlson dedicated his monologue Thursday night to criticizing the “warmongers in Washington” and defending President Trump’s “rightful skepticism” about war with Iran.

Despite “noble intentions,” our attempts to “remake the Middle East in our image” has resulted in “dismal failure,” said Carlson, in comments delivered during his primetime Fox show. “Donald Trump was one of the rare Republican politicians honest enough to admit this. He said it out loud three years ago, and promised not to repeat the same mistakes if elected president. And partly because he said that, he was elected president.”

And now, said Carlson, the same people who pushed for the Iraq “quagmire” are doing it again, this time calling for war with Iran. “The president, to his great credit, appears to be skeptical of this — very skeptical,” said Carlson.

Carlson then highlighted comments Trump made Thursday after Iran downed a U.S. surveillance drone in which he clearly attempted to de-escalate the situation:

Trump: Iran made a big mistake. This drone was in international waters. Clearly we have it all documented. I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down. Unfortunately, that drone was unarmed. It was not — there was no man in it. And there was no — it was just — it was over international waters, clearly over international waters. But we didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. We had nobody in the drone. It would have made a big difference, let me tell you. It would have made a big, big difference. I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth. I think that it could been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.

Trump’s response, said Carlson, is “not nearly bellicose enough for the permanent foreign policy establishment in Washington, many of whom crave a war with Iran, and see every provocation as an opportunity to start one.”

One of those “warmongers,” suggested Carlson, is Sen. Lindsey Graham, who argued that Trump should “put [Iran’s] oil refineries on our target list, and that he should look at sinking the Iranian Navy if they attack shipping again.”

The reason the warmongers continue to warmonger, said Carlson, is that “in Washington, there are no real consequences for being wrong.” Lawmakers can continue to repeat the same mistake with no fear of being called to the carpet.

And the warmongers are not just in Washington: they’re also in the media, including over at The New York Times, where Bret Stephens is urging similar action by the adminstration, the host said. Though they’ll never admit it, they “want a war badly, badly enough to lie about it.”

A series of reports Thursday night highlighted the precariousness of the situation between the U.S. and Iran. The New York Times reported that “the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries,” Thursday. “The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.” The Associated Press has since reported that rather than calling off a strike mid-air, the U.S. “abruptly called off preparations for a military strike against Iran.”

Related: NYT: Trump Ordered Attack, Pulled Back Mid-Strike; Iran: Trump Warned Us About Imminent Attack, Called For Talks

Carlson transcript via

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