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'
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip 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 ToddNFL Network's Rich Eisen says he has COVID-19 despite being vaccinated Newsmax host suggests vaccines 'against nature' Senate Armed Services chair: 'I think Kabul will hold' MORE on "Meet the Press."

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

ADVERTISEMENT

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 BoltonBolton: Trump lacked enough 'advance thinking' for a coup Trump said he hoped COVID-19 'takes out' Bolton: book US drops lawsuit, closes probe over Bolton book 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.