Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade claims interrupted Iran bombing could be seen "as weakness"
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the June 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player reg...
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): How much are they going to push us? They are bombing the commercial vessels of our allies, they just shot down a drone we didn't think they were capable, according to some reports, of shooting down. We were in international waters. Their explanation is farcical. So, people have to wonder. North Korea is watching, Turkey's watching, Russia's watching, China's watching. What's it going to take for America to actually act?
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): You were asking [retired Gen. David Perkins] -- you said something about it looks like we are not acting. He said, no, it's not that we're not acting. He said they expect us to hit back immediately and it is not to our advantage to do that. He is a general. These are the experts that are telling the president. There is a reason he pulled back at 7:30. Maybe it was to get Iran's attention. Maybe it was allies were calling him, saying if you don't strike then we will help you in this matter.
KILMEADE: But I will say this. Part of the story is that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former director of the CIA, military guy for years and graduate of West Point, was for a strike. John Bolton, with as much experience as anyone on Capitol Hill, was for a strike --
EARHARDT: Gina Haspel was for it.
KILMEADE: -- But the Pentagon, without a really full time secretary of defense, were the ones who pushed back because they were worried about the next wave and the responses. And the result was somehow, some way -- and we'll get the answer shortly, I hope -- the president decided to pull back with the planes in the air.
KILMEADE: I think by not doing something, he is doing something. There are consequences for non-action and there's consequences for action. In the Middle East a non-action is looked at, in many cases, as weakness. And the one quote that just sticks out with me -- and it still holds up today -- Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. He said, "If you don't punish the first insult, more are sure to follow." And what we have seen is, we didn't punish the first insult and more are to follow.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): See, I think the president did take action yesterday.
KILMEADE: Which was what?
DOOCY: He ordered a strike and the planes were put in place. The planes were in the air and the ships were in position. So -- and then at the last minute he says hey, Iran, I'm giving you one last chance. Let's talk this through. Essentially the message is, I can call somebody right now and there will be a response. Apparently the raid, which was to happen this morning, Iran time, would have targeted radar installations and missile batteries. But in the meantime --
EARHARDT: The missile battery that shot down our drone.
DOOCY: Exactly. How they figured out the surface-to-air missile.
KILMEADE: That's a nice message.