If President Trump is still watching Tucker Carlson by the end of this week, he will have seen Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) try to flatter him into preventing a war with Iran.
Typically, Carlson would not be happy with a Republican who decided to break ranks and vote with Democrats in the House, but on Thursday night he seemed to celebrate Gaetz, who was one of just three GOP members who helped pass a resolution limiting the president’s military action in that country.
Gaetz, who was accurately described by the Fox News host as maybe Trump’s “single closest ally” in the House, explained that despite the president’s stated opposition to the resolution, “the president told me he’s more anti-war than I am.”
“And I love the president for that, Tucker,” Gaetz said, smiling widely.
Instead of criticizing Trump directly, Gaetz blamed “a few of the advisers to the president” who he believes are “trying to slow-walk the administration into war.” He described the “Trump doctrine” as “we kill the terrorists and we come home.”
“I think this war powers resolution was worthy of support because it did not criticize the president, it did not say he was wrong in killing Soleimani,” Gaetz said, “but it did say that if any president wants to drag our nation into another forever Middle East war that they require the approval of the United States Congress.”
“That’s something I deeply believe and I think it’s something the president deeply believes,” he added, despite ample evidence to the contrary.
For his part, Carlson said he thinks it’s “pretty obvious” that the Constitution requires congressional approval for war. He even accused those who voted against the resolution of being “cowards” for refusing to go on the record for or against potential war. Gaetz added that it’s “ludicrous for any of my colleagues to suggest that we have to not do our job so that people in uniform can do theirs.”
“The president would have probably preferred that I vote with the other Republicans,” Gaetz said, but on the “broader issue” he still believes Trump “understands that the pro-war candidate loses presidential elections.”
“The president understands that,” he said. “And he’s too smart to let Nancy Pelosi try to cast him as the pro-war candidate and that’s why I don’t think we’re going to war with Iran.”