A chilling report from CNN just came to light last night:
Amid escalating tensions with North Korea and Iran, President Donald Trump’s advisers hesitated to provide him military options fearing the President might accidentally take the US to war and deliberately informed their counterparts in both countries that they did not know what the President might do next, multiple former administration officials tell CNN’s Jim Sciutto.
“We used to only think of Kim Jong Un as unpredictable. Now we had Trump as unpredictable,” Joseph Yun, who served as President Trump’s special representative for North Korea policy until 2018 told. “And I would communicate that.”
During a standoff with North Korea in 2017, the Pentagon hesitated to give Trump a range of military options, concerned he would order a major military attack on the North. “You had to be careful what options you gave him. We were being very cautious, because any options you put out there, he could use them.” Yun recalled. Plus he added, “The White House viewed it as ‘G********! The President is looking for all options!'”
A senior White House official told CNN that with North Korea “it was the President who at every turn has encouraged diplomacy over escalation. He took the historic step of meeting with [Kim Jong Un] in person to encourage de-escalation.”
Senior Pentagon officials made clear both to US partners in the region and to Tehran that they could not predict how and where Trump would respond, or if he would respond at all. “We told allies that we did not know what the President would be willing to do against Iran. It was possible he could make a decision that would lead to an escalation of the conflict, and that escalation could lead to war, so they needed to relay that to Iran so they realized not even his staff knew what would happen if they attacked another oil facility, for instance.”
In addition, “The NSC called us in on a Sunday,” a former senior US official told me. “[The NSC official] was basically telling us we had to have military options against Iran, today, on that day.”
CNN also reported:
Pentagon officials were dumbfounded. On a conference call with the White House, which included the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul Selva, and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, Selva muted the line on the Pentagon’s end and turned to his colleagues in disbelief.
“‘He said, ‘Is this a joke? They really want us to propose direct military action into Iran, against Iran, based on this?'” the official continued. “And I said, ‘No, we’ve been dealing with this all morning. Have they spent any time in Iraq?’
Former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel, once Defense Secretary under President Barack Obama said of President Trump: “In all my years dealing with national security and intelligence and foreign policy I’ve never heard any senior military leaders express concern about a president’s decision-making.”