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Trump’s Unhinged Fear-mongering About Iran

Another portion of Trump’s Face Nation interview is worth noting because it expresses his delusions about Iran very well:

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We were in many many locations in the Middle East in huge difficulty. Every single one of them was caused by the number one terrorist nation in the world which is Iran [bold mine-DL]. So when my intelligence people tell me how wonderful Iran is- if you don’t mind, I’m going to just go by my own counsel.

It is safe to say that none of Trump’s intelligence officials are telling him that Iran is “wonderful,” but it says a lot that this is how he interprets an assessment that says that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal. Trump’s comment shows how unhinged and extreme the president’s Iran obsession is. He sees Iran as the main cause of every single problem that the U.S. has in the region. That is a gross overstatement of Iran’s power and a significant misrepresentation of many of the region’s conflicts. He calls them the “number one terrorist nation in the world.” That requires ignoring the enormous role that our regional clients play in fostering and financing terrorism, and it insultingly labels an entire country of eighty million people as terrorists.

Today’s interview follows Trump’s fear-mongering statements from last week:

It is significant that Trump’s problem with “the intelligence people” is that they aren’t doing enough to inflate the threat from Iran. He is clearly trying to pressure intelligence agencies to deliver assessments that support his bankrupt Iran policy, but by doing so he makes his Iran obsession seem even more unhinged and irresponsible than it already did.

Trump may go by his “own counsel,” but he has just demonstrated to the world that his own counsel is very badly misinformed. If Trump is his own top adviser, the president is being advised by a fool.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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