Trump’s interview with “Meet the Press” is the highlight of the Sunday shows this morning, with his deliberations about whether or not to attack Iran serving as the highlight of the highlight. (We’ve already seen part of that exchange.) Hopefully Chuck Todd will press him on what happens if Iran escalates further but in a non-lethal way — another drone shootdown, perhaps, or a cyberstrike. Trump’s commitment to proportionality is admirable, especially knowing how he’d be attacked by hawks for showing “weakness” with his decision to call off Thursday’s strike, but looking the other way at continued potshots at U.S. assets would make him look ridiculous. If Iran really wants conflict, they can have it without killing any Americans up front. They just need to be persistent.
A guest to watch out for on this topic is Tom Cotton, who’s set for “Fox News Sunday.” Cotton’s in a bind: He’s likely to run for president in 2024 and will work hard to position himself as the true populist-nationalist choice in the field for Trump voters who don’t want to go back to Nikki-Haley-style Republicanism. But he’s also a hawk to his core and has leaned on Trump lately to hit back at Iran. What does he say this morning in response to POTUS’s pullback? Pander to Trumpers by praising the decision or politely accuse Trump of wimping out and damaging American “prestige”? There’s no question what Cotton wants to say. But what will he say?
Also on the Iran beat this morning: Mike Pence, who reportedly backed Trump’s initial decision to attack and then, er, backed his decision not to, and former Joint Chiefs chair Mike Mullen. They’ll be on “Face the Nation” and “This Week,” respectively. If you’re not interested in more Iran debate, though, “This Week” will also have Cory Booker, who’s gotten more media attention in the past three days due to his spat with Joe Biden than he received in the past three months of his presidential candidacy. I’m looking forward to Booker being asked what he thinks of John Lewis defending Biden’s willingness to work cordially with segregationists. Oh, and Bernie Sanders will follow Pence on “Face the Nation,” where he’ll presumably use his time to take a few more shots at Elizabeth Warren. The full line-up is at the AP.