Tucker Carlson: 'Bolton would love to have a war with Iran'

Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonFox News tops broadcast networks for first time in 3rd quarter Will Chis Wallace's debate topics favor Biden over Trump? Judge tosses Karen McDougal's defamation suit against Tucker Carlson MORE on Tuesday accused national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonJudge appears skeptical of Bolton's defense of publishing book without White House approval Maximum pressure is keeping US troops in Iraq and Syria Woodward book trails Bolton, Mary Trump in first-week sales MORE of attempting to embroil the U.S. in a war with Iran.

On his show Tuesday evening, Carlson argued that the top Trump aide was intentionally escalating tensions with Iran in order to provoke war.

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“More than anything in the world, national security adviser John Bolton would love to have a war with Iran. It will be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, his birthday [all] wrapped into one,” Carlson asserted.

“Mercifully, John Bolton does not control the military, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE does," Carlson added. "The question is, just how influential is Bolton in the White House."

Carlson then played a clip of Trump denying plans to send more than 100,000 troops to the Middle East to reinforce U.S. interests against Iran.

"So obviously, this is very fluid. But the broader question remains unanswered: How is a war with Iran in America’s interest in any way?" Carlson asked.

Later, Carlson's guest, retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, added to Carlson's argument, saying there was "no evidence" that Iranian forces desired conflict with the U.S.

"There's no evidence Iran wants to attack us. Quite the contrary, I think they'd very much like to avoid any conflict with us under any and all circumstances," he said.

Macgregor went on to predict that Trump would lose to a Democratic presidential rival in 2020 if he followed Bolton's lead on Iran.

“I do not see the president gaining from this but I see that he loses. I don’t see how he gets reelected. I don’t see how he achieves anything in the gulf that is positive for the United States and the American people," he said.

A spokesman for the National Security Council has before pushed back on accusations that the administration is pursuing military conflict with Tehran.

“The president has been clear, the United States does not seek military conflict with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership,” National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis told The New York Times on Monday. “However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”

Bolton announced earlier this month that the U.S. would deploy a carrier strike group to the region, citing rising tensions with Iran as a reason.

"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces," he said.