Trump Waited Until 10-Minutes Before Iranian Missile Strike To Call It Off
When Iran shot down an American surveillance drone earlier this summer, President Donald Trump appeared at the ready to retaliate — but at the last moment, the president called off the strike, shocking even his own vice president.
According to The New York Times, which spoke with White House aides, Pentagon officials, military officers, American and foreign diplomats, members of Congress and outside presidential advisers about Trump’s last-minute decision on June 20, no one saw the change coming.
“Without consulting his vice president, secretary of state or national security adviser, he reversed himself and, with ships readying missiles and airplanes already in the skies, told the Pentagon to call off the airstrikes with only 10 minutes to go,” The Times wrote.
Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials returned to the White House that day expecting they would spend the night monitoring a military operation, only to discover the attack was called off.
Trump said at the time that he canceled the attack upon discovering that 150 people could be killed, but officials indicated he had been briefed on potential casualties prior to giving the go ahead for retaliation.
It remains unclear why the president did not decide against a strike at that time, choosing instead to move forward and call it off at the last possible moment.
“That about-face, so typically impulsive, instinctive and removed from any process,” The Times observed, “proved a decision point for a president who has often threatened to ‘totally destroy’ enemies but at the same time has promised to extricate the United States from Middle East wars.”