As you probably know this morning, Donald Trump ordered a military strike against Iran yesterday. However, while the planes were in the air, he called it off. I’m not going to give the President shit for this. He’s in a tough position, but it’s a position he put himself into. He’s Mr. All About No More Wars in the Middle East, but he’s also Mr. You Will Pay in Fire and Fury, so he kind of dickity’d himself into a corner, didn’t he?
Bolton and Pompeo want a war — they’ve always wanted a war, because they want regime change. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates want a war. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Democrats do not want a war. Trump himself doesn’t want a war, he just wants Iran to do what he wants them to do because he asked them to. And you know Trump: He’s still the guy who listens to the last person who talked to him. Pompeo and Bolton probably talked him into military action. He ordered the strike. Then Tucker Carlson called him up and said, “Hey! Don’t do that, it’s not what your base wants.” So he called it off.
Trump’s in a no-win situation with Iran. But never forget: He put himself in that position by pulling out of Obama’s Iran Agreement for no reason other than because it was Obama’s agreement. Trump said it was a bad agreement, but he has never put anything better forward. He just kind of hoped that there would be no consequences, that no chickens would come home to roost. Well, here are the consequences. And now Trump has to decide he wants to be a tough guy or if he wants to be the guy who led us into another intractable war.
Good luck with that, Donny. This is what happens when you play f**king electoral politics in the Middle East.
— Meanwhile, at the border, where Trump is definitely not separating families, five children have died, and this AP story about conditions for asylum seekers is horrific.
Data obtained by The Associated Press showed that on Wednesday there were three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined.
Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.
Children told lawyers that they were fed oatmeal, a cookie and a sweetened drink in the morning, instant noodles for lunch and a burrito and cookie for dinner. There are no fruits or vegetables. They said they’d gone weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes.
— In other news, Time interviewed Trump for a cover story. The first 85 percent of the interview was predictable Trump, repeating the same sh*t he’s been repeating for 3 years, demanding he gets credit, insisting repeatedly that he didn’t separate families at the border, that Obama did. It’s the same interview he’s given 100 times. But then Time asked him about Mueller, and actually pushed him on it, and things got testy. Trump had given the reporter a letter from Kim Jong-un to look at — a very lovely letter! — and in the midst of the conversation about Mueller, the reporter took a picture of the letter.
TIME: You dictated a letter —
TRUMP: Excuse me —
TIME: — to Corey Lewandowski telling him to tell [former Attorney General Jeff] Sessions to limit the investigation [to future Russia meddling] —
TRUMP: I could have told Sessions myself if I wanted to. Under Section II —
TIME: He testified under oath —
TRUMP: Excuse me —
TIME: — under threat of prison time, that that was the case Mr. President.
TRUMP: Excuse me — Under Section II — Well, you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you —
TIME: Do you believe that people should be —
TRUMP: confidentially, I didn’t give it to you to take photographs of it — So don’t play that game with me. Let me just tell you something. You take a look —
TIME: I’m sorry, Mr. President. Were you threatening me with prison time?
TRUMP: Well, I told you the following. I told you you can look at this off-the-record. That doesn’t mean you take out your camera and start taking pictures of it. O.K.? So I hope you don’t have a picture of it. I know you were very quick to pull it out — even you were surprised to see that. You can’t do that stuff. So go have fun with your story. Because I’m sure it will be the 28th horrible story I have in TIME Magazine because I never — I mean — ha. It’s incredible. With all I’ve done and the success I’ve had, the way that TIME Magazine writes is absolutely incredible.
With all I’ve done, with the tremendous success I’ve had, that TIME Magazine writes about me the way they write is a disgrace, O.K.? Let’s face it, it’s a disgrace. And some day within the next 20 years, maybe you’ll pick me as Man of the Year. O.K., big deal. But with all that we’ve said, now — go back to the Mueller Report. You have 18 people who hated Donald Trump, who were angry Democrats, many of whom supported the Democratic Party financially. Right? You have Bob Mueller who was conflicted, totally conflicted. You know my feeling on that. Comey was his friend. I had a nasty business dispute with him when he was in private life. A very nasty business dispute. Right? You know about that, right?
TIME: If you want to provide us details —
TRUMP: No, I don’t want to provide you details, there’s no reason to. What difference, you won’t write it the way it’s proper anyway. But I had a nasty business dispute with Comey. And you know the other disputes, also we had. And he sat, see that chair you’re in? He was right in that chair, wanting the job to be the FBI Director, and I said no. O.K.? That’s a conflict of interest. Despite that, he said no collusion. First chapter. No collusion. No conspiracy. Push back. Push back. So now they have a phony crime and they say I tried to obstruct a phony crime. But you see, but I didn’t. I didn’t. And more importantly, under Article II, I could have done whatever I wanted. I could have fired Mueller if I wanted, but I didn’t, because if anybody checked out Richard Nixon, that didn’t work out so well. Alright? But I could have — I could have fired — I had the right under Article II to fire Robert, but I didn’t. And I didn’t want to. I figured, let him finish his report. Let’s see. The report came out, no collusion. Collusion being the biggest thing, meaning conspiracy. Or whatever they want to call it. And the report was very clear on that. And remember, take a look — there was actually in fact push back, do you agree with that, Sarah? They actually had push back from our people. Not only didn’t they accept, but there was push back. And then Phase two, they set up a crime. What about Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails? What about the fact that she paid Christopher Steele for a fake phony dossier — tremendous amounts of money — her and the DNC. If you guys wrote the real story, you’d end up doing very well. You’d end up with Pulitzer Prizes. I’ll tell you there are people that should get Pulitzer Prizes, but they aren’t the ones that got ‘em. The ones that got ‘em should hand ‘em back because they called this thing very wrong.