26,187. 7/2/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/MEDIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “As President Donald Trump wrestled on the evening of June 20 with how to respond to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone, Jack Keane was making his second appearance of the day on the Fox News Channel. Keane, a retired four-star Army general, said that Trump, who had speculated earlier in the day that the Iranian action might have been a fluke rather than a deliberate provocation, had a point. Mistakes happen…Keane’s reference to the United States’ accidental downing of an Iranian commercial airliner in 1988 made a profound impact on the president, who was ‘spooked’ when he learned of the incident, according to two sources briefed on his reaction. The president made repeated comments about the tragedy on the evening of the 20th, leading aides to believe that Keane’s brief history lesson exacerbated Trump’s pre-existing doubts about carrying out the strike. Though it is unclear just how decisive Keane’s description of the decades-old incident was in the president’s decision to call off the airstrikes — Trump also had repeated conversations with Fox News host Tucker Carlson before he made the call — it wouldn’t be the first time the 76-year-old former Army vice chief of staff has, wittingly or not, served as a shadow foreign policy adviser to the commander in chief.”

Eliana Johnson, “The Fox News general who ‘spooked’ Trump out of attacking Iran,” Politico, July 2, 2019 5:00 am

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