Donald Trump woke up furious on Monday, kicking the week off with a series of tweets that culminated in the President imploring the Department of Justice and the FBI to “drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now!”
That, after demanding that Americans tune into Fox & Friends at 6:15 (“NOW!”).
And while there’s little doubt that the sycophants over at Fox helped get the President riled up, it’s also possible he’s still fuming about comments Hassan Rouhani made over the weekend. Specifically, Rouhani said this:
We’re not fighting or at war with any country, but the enemies have to clearly understand that war with Iran will be the mother of all wars and likewise peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.
Well, Donald Trump is the “mother of all” somethings, and he didn’t like that. So, at 36 minutes to midnight, he turned on the all-caps and shrieked the following into the digital void:
Call that “Fire and Fury, Part Deux”.
This comes amid the Trump administration’s efforts to marshal support from U.S. allies in Europe on the way to presenting a unified front against Iran following America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. That decision was clearly designed to placate the Israelis and to cement Trump’s ties with the Saudis, who he needs for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that Riyadh is key when it comes to keeping a lid on oil prices as Iranian barrels are taken off the market.
Of course Trump hasn’t done himself any favors when it comes to ingratiating himself to the European powers. Earlier this month, Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin reportedly sent letters to the finance and foreign ministers of the U.K., France and Germany, summarily rejecting requests seeking waivers from secondary sanctions imposed on countries who import Iranian crude.
According to one letter described to Bloomberg, Pompeo indicated the administration intends to apply “unprecedented financial pressure” on Tehran, pressure that will not abate until the Trump administration sees what it’s describing as a “tangible, demonstrable and sustained shift’’ in Iran’s behavior.
That comes as Trump is busy castigating those same European countries as “foes” of the United States on trade and threatening their security by suggesting the U.S. could pull out of NATO.
Still, Mike Pompeo is trying to foster some good will with Europe amid the chaos in an effort to salvage something in the way of consensus on Iran.
“We ask our allies & partners to join our economic pressure campaign against Iran’s regime”, Pompeo said in a July 12 tweet that featured a map of attacks attributed to the Quds Force. “There’s no telling when Iran may try to foment terrorism, violence & instability in one of our countries next”, he added.
Also this month, Pompeo threatened Quds commander Qassem Soleimani. “He’s causing trouble throughout Iraq and Syria and we need to raise the cost for him”, the Secretary of State told The National, in an exclusive interview.
Over the weekend, at an event held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Pompeo told members of the Iranian American community that Tehran “resembles the Mafia more than a government”, ironic coming from a man who just two Saturdays ago was accused by the North Koreans of being a “gangster.”
Pompeo was especially proud of this quotable from the same speech:
For 40 years the Iranian people have heard from their own government that America is the Great Satan. We do not believe they are interested in hearing that #FakeNews any longer. pic.twitter.com/MINz23FUxO
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 23, 2018
You know, Mike is probably right.
But when it comes to convincing the Iranian people that the U.S. is not, in fact, “the Great Satan”, it doesn’t help when the President of the United States decides to spend Sunday evening telling those very same people that he’s going to make them “SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”