Mere minutes after Fox News aired a segment on Monday that seemingly laid out the case for military strikes against Iran, President Trump cryptically—and without context—tweeted out verbatim a graphic displayed by the network, noting Iran has threatened to exceed uranium stockpile limits set by the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Iran to defy Uranium Stockpile Limits,” the president tweeted at 11:49 a.m. ET, three minutes after America’s Newsroom aired a chyron with the same wording:
As first highlighted by Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz—who often tracks the president’s habit of live-tweeting Fox News programming—the segment itself included commentary that encouraged strikes against Iran, claiming that Iran only responds to strength and brief action against the nation won’t necessarily lead to a protracted war.
Fox News anchor Julie Banderas first highlighted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion over the weekend that America doesn’t want war as tensions increase with Iran but will take military action if needed.
“History will tell you Iran only responds to strength,” Banderas noted after Fox News contributor Daniel Hoffman said the stockpiling of low-grade uranium was a “real threat” to the United States. “Strength in numbers, strength in military action is needed according to Mike Pompeo, who says the president would back that. Do you believe that military action is needed?”
Stating the United States is not interested in returning to the Iran Nuclear Deal that the Trump administration withdrew from last year, Hoffman went on to say that the administration is hinting at a “flexible response” that could include B-52 bombers if the United States felt under attack.
“If there’s something smaller, then we might respond with something less serious than that,” the former CIA official added.
Banderas, meanwhile, responded by replaying an earlier segment that featured Fox News analyst and retired general Jack Keane, noting Keane claimed military action would not necessarily lead to war and that viewers shouldn’t be that concerned over potential military strikes.
After playing Keane’s remarks, in which he said Iran doesn’t want a war but is willing to “escalate militarily” so the United States has to “have enough resolve to stand up to that,” Banderas reiterated Keane’s belief that America needs to be tougher with Iran.
“The United States does not want war as well with Iran,” the Fox News anchor declared. “But they are going to step up the game because these war game that are being played by Iran, the United States isn’t going to go for that.”