Gabbard: 'Trump Says He Doesn't Want War With Iran, but That's Exactly What He Wants'

Trump on Tuesday denied a New York Times report that U.S. officials were discussing a military plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on the second day at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016
\ Mike Segar/ REUTERS

Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii tweeted Tuesday that war with Iran is “exactly what” U.S. President Donald Trump wants.

“Trump says he doesn't want war with Iran, but that's exactly what he wants, because that's exactly what Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu, al-Qaeda, Bolton, Haley, and other NeoCons/NeoLibs want. That’s what he put first--not America.”

Gabbard, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, is an Iraq war combat veteran and has joined with Bernie Sanders in calling to stop what she calls the U.S.’s policy of “endless war.”

Trump on Tuesday denied a New York Times report that U.S. officials were discussing a military plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East to counter any attack or nuclear weapons acceleration by Iran.

"I think it's fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that," Trump told reporters at the White House.

The Times reported that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated plan last week in a meeting of top national security aides that envisions sending as many as 120,000 American troops to the region if Iran attacks U.S. forces or accelerates work on its nuclear weapons.

The updated plan does not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require far more troops, the Times reported, citing unidentified administration officials.

The plan reflects revisions ordered by Iran hawks including national security adviser John Bolton, the newspaper said.