Trump says he's not looking for war while warning of 'obliteration like you've never seen'

Trump says he's not looking for war while warning of 'obliteration like you've never seen'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE in an interview broadcast Sunday expressed willingness to speak with Iranian officials without preconditions while warning of the consequences of war.

"I'm not looking for war, and if there is, it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before. But I'm not looking to do that. But you can't have a nuclear weapon," Trump told NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddBass: 'Lesson learned' on 2016 Castro comments The Memo: Trump struggles to get traction with law-and-order message Ohio governor issues mandatory statewide mask order MORE on "Meet the Press."

Asked if this would include preconditions, Trump said, "Not as far as I'm concerned. No preconditions."

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Trump also said he did not send a message to Tehran warning of an attack.

"I did not send that message," Trump said. "I’m not looking for war."

He also said he thinks Iran wants to negotiate.

"And I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is nuclear. Look, they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon," he added. "I don’t think they like the position they’re in. Their economy is, is absolutely broken."

In the same interview, Trump called his national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence Senate-passed defense spending bill includes clause giving DHS cyber agency subpoena power Bolton defends Cheney amid clash with House conservatives MORE “absolutely a hawk” and said he wanted “hawks” and “doves” equally represented in his administration.

“If it was up to [Bolton], he'd take on the whole world at one time, OK? But that doesn't matter because I want both sides,” Trump told Todd.

Trump reportedly ordered and then canceled a retaliatory strike on Iran last week in response to Iran shooting down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone it claimed was in Iranian airspace. Trump has claimed he canceled the strike after being told it would likely kill 150 people.

The canceled strike follows months of mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran, including attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. blamed on Iran. Iran denied responsibility.

This report was updated at 1:28 p.m.