Donald Trump is an actor, and he likes to keep people guessing as to what may or may not be going on under the orange thing on top of his head.
His Acting Chief of Staff is Mick Mulvaney, a Tea Party guy who was a Congressman from South Carolina.
His Acting Secretary of Defense is Patrick Shanahan, who’s been Trump’s unconfirmed SecDef for nearly six months.
Just the other day, he named Army Secretary Mark Esper, who is well-liked on Capitol Hill, as his Acting Secretary of Defense. Trump threw Shanahan under the bus after it became clear that Shanahan is a domestic violence perp.
Then along came this little problem with Iran, with Iran the likely culprit when two oil tankers, one Norwegian and the other Japanese, were attacked in international waters just off the coast from Iran.
And then the US drone, a damn expensive surveillance piece of equipment spying on Iran, was shot down by the Iranians in international waters (maybe).
Which meant Trump was supposed to respond.
His hawkish advisers, including National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, were all for substantial military retaliation against Iran.
But then Trump talked with his close personal friend Tucker Carlson of Fox News. Carlson advised him against starting yet another war in the Mideast (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/politics/trump-iran-strike.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share).
As the attack planes were in the air and with ten minutes to go, Trump called off the attack.
Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones was, as always, in the room.
That’s when she heard Trump tell Mulvaney to forget about the nomination of Esper. “I get along well with Tucker,” Trump told Mulvaney. “So I want Tucker to be my next Secretary of Defense."