Sen. Angus King, an Armed Services Committee member, said Wednesday that he does not understand the Trump administration’s game plan with Iran, adding he’s afraid a “misunderstanding” could cause armed conflict.
“No, I don’t understand the strategy. Yes, I do have concerns about where it’s going,” the Maine independent said on CNN’s “New Day” show.
“What really worries me, John, is that the Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] and John Bolton, national security adviser, are moving us into a position where the president feels boxed in and he has to respond in some military way, because I don’t think that’s his instinct, but that’s what’s troubling right now,” Mr. King said, referring to CNN anchor John Berman.
“Wars start sometimes or often by miscalculations and misunderstandings. This is a situation that’s ripe for that. One side thinks they’re being defensive. The other side thinks, ‘Well, those guys are being provocative, we’ve got to strike first.’ Very dangerous situation. Calm voices are needed in all levels of the administration,” he said.
Mr. Pompeo asserted Tuesday that “President Trump does not want war” with Iran, amid the Pentagon announcing it was deploying 1,000 more troops to the Middle East.
Tensions have escalated in recent days after the U.S. accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and Tehran threatened to ramp up uranium enrichment. Still, neither side has slammed the door on diplomacy.
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• Ben Wolfgang contributed to this report.