Between NBC moderator Kristen Welker and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday morning, the desired tough-sounding headline was generated from Sullivan’s appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” show: “National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Refuses To Rule Out Strikes inside Iran.” The exchange, as reported by NBC news, went as follows:
“Well, sitting here today on a national news program, I’m not going to get into what we’ve ruled in and ruled out from the point of view of military action. What I will say is that the President is determined to respond forcefully to attacks on our people. The President also is not looking for a wider war in the Middle East,” Sullivan asserted
“But is it off the table? Are strikes inside Iran off the table?” Welker pressed.
“Again, Kristen, sitting here on television, it would not be wise for me to talk about what we’re ruling in and ruling out.”
Welker came back at it: “So you’re not ruling it out?”
Sullivan: “I’ll just say the same thing one more time. I’m not going to get into what’s on the table and off the table when it comes to the American response.”