Scarborough on Iran strikes being called off: Trump loves to 'insult, bully and threaten' and then pull back
International relations expert Dr. Rebecca Grant weighs in on the escalating tension between the US and Iran.
The "Morning Joe" host said he's glad Trump made the last-minute decision Thursday night to call off retaliatory strikes against Iran in response to the downing of a Navy drone that Washington said was over international airspace.
Multiple news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press, reported similar accounts — citing unnamed sources. These reports portray a mission that would have targeted Iranian missile batteries and radars. No shots were fired and no missiles were launched, according to the AP.
But Scarborough argued that Trump, as he did with North Korea, demonstrates bluster but then "pulls back" when military action appears to be the next step.
"I think a very definite trend is emerging. ... This is a president who loves to insult, loves to bully, he loves to threaten, but what happens when our adversaries understand that he's never going to follow through? By the way, I don't think we should actually bomb Iran unless Britain, France, Germany and all of our other allies are shoulder to shoulder," he said.
He said isolationism and anti-intervention appear to be "default positions" for Trump after two years in office. Political analyst John Heilemann agreed that Trump wants "to be seen as strong" while also being a "non-interventionist," repeatedly criticizing past presidents for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Who feels comfortable that there is a clear strategy guiding the American approach to what is an increasingly threatening scenario in the Middle East?" he asked, arguing it seems like an "ad hoc, chaotic" approach because officials do not know Trump's thinking.