Transcript for Trump responds to Iran attack on US drone
And you're watching ABC news live continuing coverage here of the president's remarks on Iran is that. Standoff with Iran reaches a crisis stage or deputy political director Mary Alice parks is here on Devin Dwyer Washington great to have you with us. So much to unpack here is the president shows uncharacteristic. Of restraint towards Iran after issuing some bold threats that any. US. Assets being attacked would prompt a bold and swift response the president saying here that's hard to believe. That drone which are seen pictures of shot down the last 24 hours I was intentional and present suggesting perhaps it was an accident giving a little bit of room. There Mary Alison think some of the politics in this moment. Also. Are are important to keep in mind as context here the president is sort of our feeling being pulled in two directions on the one hand. He's always tried to take a harder line towards Iran on the other hand this is a president who said very clearly he doesn't want to get the United States involved another war in the Middle East and anti. An ally here in Washington about how the hardliners and to the ones. Left in the White House and in his year people like John Bolton who have been. I'm a quicker to talk about a taking a strong approach in Lindsey Graham obviously a close. Ally and friend from Capitol Hill who was talking today about how this was such a strong. Provocation from a ride with that seems to run counter intuitive to this president. Who ran largely I'm back and cronies sixteen on wanting to pull troops home really criticizing. Foreign wars. And rammed a very decisively on the war in Iraq being a mistake and wanting to scale back a troop footprint in the unit it anywhere abroad to really in the Natalie. Yeah and also bit surprising Alatas and his allies Lindsey Graham Tom cotton and others who very publicly. And repeatedly been in his ear on this that he needs to respond let's bring in our global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz for a little bit more Martha. I just get your personal reaction as someone who has covered this story and a stand up so extensively are you surprised. By the presidents is sort of restraint here is suggestion that maybe this is a mistake. Well I think he's certainly trying to send a strong message to Iran he is leaving himself a bit of an out. But as you know the president sometimes says one thing on one hand and one thing on the other hand I think it's. I think it's very important to go back and see how this all began the president pulled out of the JC PO way. The nuclear deal and started this maximal pressure campaign. On Iran. Thinking it would get Iran to the table as you know I was just there. Several weeks ago in Iran and Iran was holding firm then. Saying you cannot pressure us into doing something like that but the economy. It is having a crippling effect on the economy in Iran. But clearly Iran has decided it will push back. You have those tanker attacks we have not seen publicly. Any solid evidence that Iran did it that we have seen a lot of circumstantial evidence we've seen evidence of them. Taking off a mine not putting on the mind. But but Iran is is holding firm doubling down and by shooting that drone out of the air it is. A true test for president trump who despite what he said today. And believe me were all going to be going back and looking at all the statements he is made. Think of what he said about those those sailors that were in a boat when President Obama. And that the Iranians held them for a while and that they were on their knees and that wouldn't happen. If if president trump was president so he has had very very tough. Rhetoric against Iran and that was before they shot down a drop. Martha the president there's said that it could have been sort of a rogue general acting in Iran. Talk to us about who calls the shots in Iran we've heard a lot of reporting that it's hard to know cruising charted it at a point there. It it is it is there could be rogue actors pat listen to what. Now foreign minister sad he said the US wages economic terrorism on Iran has conducted Covert action against us. And now encroaching on our territory as soon as that drone was shot down Iran with saying it was over in their territorial waters. There was no sort of statement oh wait this might be a rogue let us check. He said will take this new aggression to the UN. And showed that the yet this is there reef the foreign minister and show that the US is lying about international. Water so they are certainly not trying to move the bowing to some rogue action. And let's for your very person of the conversation our senior congressional correspondent she's been tracking. What lawmakers are saying about this standoff with Iran merry you know aside from Lindsey Graham and Tom cotton some of the Iran hawks. What is the appetite out there more broadly to responding to something like this this is an attack on a US asset. Well there is very little appetite to respond militarily from a lot of people that we had spoken with obviously leader Pelosi has been urging caution we heard her earlier today saying there is no appetite. For a war and even many top Republicans. Have been urging caution here when asked about how the president would respond saying that the bad now at the time to up the pressure to use a maximum pressure campaign. But not to be taking further military action of course the issue is that that's not the message that's being sent by so many of those hawkish Republicans who are then the members. Congress who have the president's year. When you speak about Lindsey Graham and Tom cotton their voice is so important because they're want to the president listens most closely to do so when you have Lindsey Graham coming out and encouraging. Forceful action when he is telling the president that the test for him that is Lindsey Graham telegraphing to the president the room the media. Saying that the president should be especially on high alert for the fact that that his action and his response to this is one of those moments. They and it could be you know go down in history books when it comes of the way that this president. Has handled. These kind of foreign relations and these kinds of tests a Lindsey Graham is sending a very clear message to the president and it's not necessarily message and that is in line with other top Republicans. And we know that's dose top Republicans along with top Democrats including speaker Pelosi we're just learning. From our Trish turner will be coming to the White House where you are marry this afternoon for 3 o'clock classified briefing. With president from on the situations that sounds like. There are further discussions under way and M and Martha Raddatz at a response not being taken off the table even as president from. Exercise this summer street here. It seems from some of your analysis in your reporting that there could be a lot of concern about indirect attacks. In response is by Iran they have a a pretty vast network around the world right. Yeah we're we're always concerned about Iranian proxies in how someone could carry out attacks. We have a lot of US forces in the region as you know and we've just Santa or in process of sending about 25. Hundred more patriot missile batteries. We have more fighter jets we have B 52 bombers and we have an aircraft carrier. Straight group in the region as well. Are you also have right now and this is very important you you do have the US military looking for the debris from that drunk as the last thing they want. Is for the Iranians to get bits and pieces of baton drone and any intelligence that might have monitor any sort of classified equipment from this highly. Sophisticated drone. You also had the embassy in Baghdad and evacuated. About Rivera hundreds of people evacuated due to non emergency personnel as they are called because of unspecified. Threats in the region you had two rockets. Hit in an oil drilling. Housing facility. Just yesterday. There was no blame placed on that but you can be sure that the US is looking. At Iran for that as well and a runny and proxies in Iraq carrying out those attack. X very dangerous situation. For sure we'll continue the next few days as the standoff continues Martha Raddatz thanks so much for sticking around Martha. For your analysis so much more from harm world news. Tonight we should say that that drone which are shot down 120 million dollar surveillance drone the Pentagon just a short time ago that it was over international waters and they just released this video. We're trying to make it out. It does appear that that school legal at the top left of the screen there is the trail. Of the drone that was said that it left in the sky as it was shot down but the Pentagon putting out some footage of the incident which happened overnight. I'm big headline here Mary Alice the president saying he believes that this. Perhaps could be an accident a rogue general or something inside around in his words hard to believe it was intentional showing some restrain armed. God did say we'll see he was asked repeatedly there in the room her orders what irresponsibly. And he had she did say we'll see. And and clearly some very strong words from the patent on the. This is not likely to be a topic to. In the debate next week in foreign policy using not front and center earn some of these democratic. I'm Republican primary debates but now. It's almost certain to come up. Rain you can imagine a snare that really benefits Joseph Biden a former vice president who has. Actively engaged in defending the original Iran deal that new long menstruation. Was a part it also could make Joseph Biden look a little stately that those are the elder statesman on that stage a moment like this. But it might also I make Democrats would look on the defense at it is hard to run against a sitting president for exactly this reason. They're the ones in the White House they're the ones in the situation room you're the commander in chief. The answer we will see where that debate goes just a few days a waiver ounce thanks for your political analysis while much more. The political conversation in the fallout from this stand off of Iran coming up at 3:30 eastern time here and ABC news live. In the briefing room along with other political headlines of the day. A for now from Mary Alice on Devin Dwyer Washington thanks for watching our special coverage.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.