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Former Trump security official slams Tucker Carlson over criticism of strike on Iranian general

A former national security council official ripped Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonFox News records highest November ratings in its history Atlas departure from White House cheered by public health officials Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE on Friday for criticizing President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE’s decision to order an airstrike that killed one Iran’s top military leaders, saying the Fox News host doesn’t “represent the Republican Party or conservatives.”

“Tucker Carlson is an outlier,” said Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council chief of staff under the Trump administration. “I don’t think he represents the Republican Party or conservatives.”

Fleitz also defended Trump’s decision to order an U.S. drone strike last week that resulted in the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and added that Trump will continue to step up pressure on the country if necessary.

“It was a difficult decision but I think it was the right one and the president is not planning on getting us into a war — he’s going to continue the maximum pressure campaign,” he said.

Senior administration officials have reportedly started drawing up potential economic sanctions against Iraq after Trump publicly threatened the country with economic sanctions if it moved forward on expelling U.S. troops.

Fleitz’s comments come after Carlson last week broke with some of his fellow Fox News colleagues and criticized Trump’s decision to launch the airstrike. During his prime-time program Thursday, he warned that "America appears to be lumbering towards a new Middle East war."

Carlson has repeatedly called for the U.S. to avoid any future conflict or further intervention in the Middle East. He previously voiced support for Trump’s withdrawal of remaining U.S. troops from Northern Syria, which was met with criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

"For once, Americans are coming home from a Middle Eastern tar pit, rather than staying forever, and we ought to be celebrating that," Carlson said at the time. "Across the country people are. But in Washington, people are apoplectic.”

—Tess Bonn