Fox News’ Tucker Carlson praised U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision not to bomb Iran on Friday while tearing into “bureaucratic tapeworm” John Bolton — Trump’s hawkish national security adviser.
Carlson, who is one of Fox News’ most-watched hosts, has been a regular adviser to Trump. The Daily Beast reported that in private conversations, Carlson “advised Trump against taking military action against Iran” and “bashed the more ‘hawkish members’ of his administration.”
The New York Times also reported that “among the voices that rang powerfully for President Trump was that of one of his favorite Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson.”
On his Friday show, Calrson argued that Trump’s decision not bomb Iran saved his reelection bid: “Bombing Iran would have ended his political career in a minute. There would be no chance of reelection after that. Ill-advised wars are like doing cocaine: The initial rush rises your poll numbers, but the crash is inevitable.”
Trump said on Saturday that he’s still considering military action against Iran after it downed an unmanned U.S. military aircraft.
Trump said such action is “always on the table until we get this solved.”
The president said he aborted a military strike set for Thursday after learning that 150 people would be killed. Trump said: “I don’t want to kill 150 Iranians. I don’t want to kill 150 of anything or anybody unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
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Carlson took a notably different approach to some of the network’s other pro-Trump hosts. Sean Hannity insisted on Thursday, before the president’s decision not to bomb, that Trump “will bomb the hell out of” Iran unless Iran’s leaders take a “small opportunity,” adding that this was "simple peace through strength."
Carlson, on the other hand, pulled no punches in his criticism of Bolton and his role in the Iraq war. “According to John Bolton, [Iraq is] a raging success. We killed hundreds of thousands of people, lost thousands of our own troops, spent more than $1 trillion — all to eliminate a WMD threat that, despite John Bolton’s assurances, never existed in the first place,” said Carlson
“Bolton is glad we did all that. Really happy about it. That’s demented. Normal people don’t talk about that. There’s nothing normal about John Bolton,” concluded Carlson.
The Associated Press contributed to this report