National security adviser John Bolton is "a malignant influence" in the White House, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Thursday.
According to The Hill, Paul — one of President Donald Trump's allies on Capitol Hill — is against the administration's increased military activity regarding Iran.
"I fear that he's a malignancy, a malignant influence on the administration," Paul said. "My concern is that there are people that will overreact to this intelligence and somehow get us involved in a military conflict from which there's no turning back."
The intelligence Paul was referring to deals with a reported threat to the United States from Iran. As a result, the Pentagon sent an armada of ships to the Middle East and, according to one report, has one option that would send 120,000 troops to deal with Iran.
Paul is a libertarian and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is opposed to having the U.S. get into what he sees are unnecessary military conflicts.
"The question is that's being done in reaction to our increased presence there and our naming all of the Revolutionary Guards as terrorists, is this a reaction to our policy or is it simply an aggressive policy saying we're going to start war," Paul said.
"Iran knows you don't start a war with the United States."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close Trump ally, and other lawmakers said this week they were frustrated not to have more information about developments surrounding Iran. While waiting for the arrival of Swiss Confederation President Ueli Maurer at the White House, Trump was asked if the U.S. would be going to war with Iran.
"I hope not," he replied.
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