Trump on War With Iran: ‘I Hope Not’

Dismisses reports he told advisers he doesn't want war as 'fake news'

In comments to reporters at the White House asking about the possibility of the US launching war against Iran, President Trump would only say “I hope not.” He did not elaborate on this, and other media reports which would seem to verify this position were quickly disavowed.

After over a week of US escalation and talk of war, President Trump has rarely spoken publicly about the matter, threatening to see Iran “suffer greatly” on Twitter but otherwise letting John Bolton and Mike Pompeo handle things.

On Thursday, however, reports emerged from the New York Times that Trump had told Patrick Shanahan he didn’t want the war, and then in the Washington Post told his top advisers that he prefers a diplomatic approach and was not convinced the time is right for war.

These stories both seemingly emphasize that he’s not rushing to war, but on Twitter, Trump angrily declared them the “Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times,” and insisted that he is very decisive on all issues, including on Iran, apparently precluding close aides from mistaking what the policy is.

Which is a problem, because everything coming out of the mouths of those aides would indicate that the US is practically already in the process of launching an Iran War, a conflict a number of US allies are very concerned about.

Again, there is simply a big gap here between the two versions of the story, that Trump doesn’t want a war, but that Trump is also making it very clear what he wants, and his advisers are all acting like that’s war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of