Fox Business host and Trump whisperer Lou Dobbs appeared to nudge President Trump toward threatening Iran with military strikes on Tuesday night, saying the president shouldn’t get involved in a ground war but instead make it clear that he’ll turn the nation’s oil industry into “dust.”
The New York Times reported Monday the White House is mulling a plan that would send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks U.S. forces or ramps up nuclear weapon development, prompting Trump to attack the Times as “fake news” on Tuesday before doubling down and saying he’d order “a hell of a lot more” troops than that.
During his Fox Business Network show Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs—who is regularly patched in to Trump’s Oval Office meetings—said the president is not interested in a ground war with Iran but “he’s not going to put up with any more nonsense.”
Claiming that two presidents before Trump “put up with the killing of thousands of our troops in Iraq by Iran,” Dobbs turned to former Trump adviser Christian Whiton, who said Iran has seen itself at war with the United States since 1979.
Whiton went on to praise the president for presenting a “new Trump Doctrine,” which he described as “not interventionist” and “not neoconservative.”
But Dobbs, apparently not entirely impressed with Trump’s current Iran strategy, suggested the administration should perhaps up the ante.
“Let me just ask you very quickly, why not make it very clear to the ayatollahs that if you mess further with us, we will not commit troops, but we will reduce your entire infrastructure to dust?” Dobbs, whose show Trump watches religiously, wondered. “And by that, I mean their entire oil industry upon which they’re utterly dependent?”
Whiton said that would be “exactly the right thing to do” and the Trump administration “should know that.” Taking out their oil refineries and nuclear processing capabilities, he said, could put Iran in a “bad position.”