Trump growing angry with war-like planning by advisors: Washington Post

June 1, 2019

President Donald Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to several U.S. officials, the Washington Post reported recently.

Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran’s leaders, the Post said.

Disagreements over assessing and responding to the recent intelligence that Iran is preparing attack on U.S. interests are also fraying alliances with foreign allies, according to multiple officials in the United States and Europe.

Trump grew angry recently about what he sees as warlike planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking, said a senior administration official with knowledge of conversations Trump had regarding national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“They are getting way out ahead of themselves, and Trump is annoyed,” the official said. “There was a scramble for Bolton and Pompeo and others to get on the same page.”

Bolton, who advocated regime change in Iran before joining the White House last year, is “just in a different place” from Trump, although the president has been a fierce critic of Iran since long before he hired Bolton. Trump “wants to talk to the Iranians; he wants a deal” and is open to negotiation with the Iranian government, the official said.

“He is not comfortable with all this ‘regime change’ talk,” which to his ears echoes the discussion of removing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein before the 2003 U.S. invasion, said the official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

While Trump grumbles about Bolton somewhat regularly, his discontent with his national security adviser is not near the levels it reached with Rex Tillerson when he served as Trump’s secretary of state, the official added.

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