For better or for worse, President Donald Trump is accustomed to taking the advice from his favorite Fox News personalities.
Advisers in Trump’s White House, for example, stated that Sean Hannity is often affectionately referred to as the “shadow chief of staff,” due to his frequent interactions with the president and advice he gives him on policy matters.
Hannity “basically has a desk in the place,” one source said to the Washington Post in April of last year.
Now, it seems that another Fox personality is giving Trump advice — this time on the specific issue of what to do about Iran.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is reportedly speaking to the president about recent developments dealing with Iran’s alleged role in the bombing of two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. But while Trump is seemingly surrounded by hawkish voices in his administration, Carlson is advising Trump to take a more cautious approach.
According to a White House source that spoke to The Daily Beast about it, Carlson has been speaking to Trump in recent weeks against taking any militaristic action toward Tehran. War with Iran, he’s told the commander-in-chief, would be a mistake unless it was absolutely necessary.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) June 19, 2019
Carlson’s alleged conversations with Trump mirror what he’s been saying on his own program. He recently discussed, for example, the “misplaced certainty” over whether Iran attacked the tankers, comparing those who say they did to discourses that existed in the run-up to and justifications for the Iraq War in 2003.
“We’re still paying a price for that,” Carlson said on his Monday night show.
It’s unusual for any president to seek the counsel of media personalities, especially on issues as big as the possibility of starting a war with a foreign power. But Trump’s options seem to be limited.
This week, for example, Trump’s acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced he would not seek permanent placement to that role, and would instead be stepping down from his position, Salon reported, leaving the president without a Defense Secretary to help him determine what course of action he should take in the immediate future.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.