By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published June 24, 2019
MSNBC's Chris Matthews has been one of the president's most unhinged critics, but even he couldn't resist praising Trump for refraining from a military strike on Iran, saying he's "glad" he didn't go through with it.
President Trump revealed last week that he called off the strike against Iran following them shooting down a U.S. drone roughly ten minutes before the strike was set to launch after he learned that roughly 150 Iranians would have been killed.
"If Trump had taken military action, I would have come down hard on him," Matthews told the panel Monday evening. "I think it’s good that he hesitated. I think hesitation before using military action and asking how many casualties there are going to be on the other side is a good question."
The "Hardball" host invoked the lives lost during the Iraq War and how those that died "weren't the bad guys."
"The fact he found out it was 150 or so people -- we went into Iraq, everybody said it was going to be quick and easy, it was going to be a slam dunk," Matthews elaborated.
"We may have killed somewhere between 150,000 people and a million people, Iraqis, who were just there, they were just Iraqis, they weren’t the bad guys. We only make that calculation now. It's time that -- I like the fact that the president asked up front to his NSC people: how many people will die if we take this step? I think it’s good and I’m glad he did it.”
The Trump administration announced on Monday that the president approved "hard-hitting" sanctions on Iran, hoping to specifically target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates.