'Iran made a big mistake,' said Trump after the country shoots down US drone

The president said "you'll soon find out" if the US is planning a strike in Iran.
14:11 | 06/20/19

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Transcript for 'Iran made a big mistake,' said Trump after the country shoots down US drone
This is an ABC news special room. Now reporter. David Mueller. And good afternoon we come on here at this hour. As we are following rising tensions between the US and Iran in fact just a short time ago at the Pentagon this was audio only but we did hear from the commander of the US Air Force's Central Command. In the region lieutenant general Joseph with Stella who told reporters in a statement to the Pentagon briefing room that a global hawk drone was flying over the gulf of Oman. Near the strait of four moves this was a US navy drone in a recent surveillance mission in international airspace in the vicinity of recent maritime attacks when it was shot down. By a surface to air missile fired from a location and this is significant he said in the vicinity of cork Iran from Iran. That is something Iran disputes they did not dispute the drone coming down but they do say. That that drone was over Iran and not over international air space selling direct to Mary Bruce quickly Mary. You asked the president moments ago would we be taking action against Iran and he was very quick wit his answer. What the president said that we would be hearing something more soon we know that he has just been. Needing little with just interrupt Canada in the Oval Office and he was asked. Even more about his response to Iran's actions and what he plans to do about it did I believe we are about to hear today is that directly from the right. Mistakes is the term president. In the oval office on it was in international waters clearly we have it all documented it's documented scientifically not just words. And emitted very bad mistake. You'll find out. You'll find out. You'll find that out. Believe you obviously you know we're not going to be. Talking too much about it unified that have been a very big mistake. I paid out over decades there. No concerns we'll be discussing that and be one of the issues I think he will be discussing right now with Justin. Legacy indicated they're gonna be loans should have done sooner but what are you gonna do. Keller ball he should've done it sooner we can't winner and eventually. He'll do what's right perhaps. Let's see what he does win. Yeah. Israeli army are. Ultimately we are where very concerned with the escalation by Iran recently we have significant presence in the area. Maybe the NATO mission in in Baghdad in Iraq. We look forward to discussing with closest ally their perspectives on that thing about. Important for the international community. And beauty. And happy. Well I don't know that he's trying to move him. Were well we've got a lot of the things that as well yeah. Otherwise I'll represent them well I won't and we have a meeting set up with. President Chea and it's president trump in the Oval Office just moments ago you heard the president saying things around shooting down a US drone may have been mistaken his words he said. It may have been someone under command of a Ryan government who made a mistake I find it hard to believe that it was intentional adding it could've been somebody who was loose. And stupid let's get to are cheap global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz because it would seem from those words right there Martha. But the president is offering some sort of a window here to perhaps to bring down this escalation. It he he may be trying to do that better Ron is ramping it right back up pitch you mentioned and the foreign ministers are rift tweeted just a short time ago. The US wages economic terrorism on Iran and is conducted Covert action and now encroach is on our territory. Saying it will take this new aggression to the UN and show that the US is lying about international waters. They said from the moment their surface to air. Our missile hit are very sophisticated. Drone. That it was in Iran in territorial waters but you heard the president you heard the commander in Carter saying quite firmly. That is not true at that they made a big mistake the commander in Carter saying this is dangerous. And escalate Torre action so we're getting a lot of different messages today but. As you know David the president has been very firm about Iran. Over the years he has been in office saying it's a country of terror and he will not take. I would underscore the key point you made their Martha that Iran says this was not over international waters it was over their airspace to US is very clear this morning and that statement from the Pentagon. From the region saying that was not the case and that this drone fell down into international waters and that it could have put. Lives in danger I want to bring in our senior White House correspondent facility Vega because we know as soon as the White House heard about this. A last night about 7:30 eastern time they did convene. Members of the security team with the president. Yet they were reportedly David so concerned about what had happened that they convene this meeting in the evening and Sarah Sanders confirm that that meeting it happened we now know that the president has been briefed. At least twice this morning and last night there's also been there have been a number briefings frankly that have been happening the National Security Council very high senior. Level officials in that group met at the White House this morning that included the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff general ghost of Don Byrd. Congressional leaders from broad both parties have been briefed on this. But you know giving you were just say this is a real test for president trump right now that he will have to make a decision as to what to do it seemed this. From his comments that he just gave and the White House that he is leaving a little bit of an opening with Iran we also early as a number of hawks in his administration senior level talks to. Have advocated for attacks on Iran in in recent history. The president himself has vacillated a little bit he is that he does not want to see war with Iran or war again in the Middle East but. I think at this point we have to wait to see what he's gonna do you see here is military leaders saying. You speak of the hawks in the administration he also has allies over on the hill senator Lindsey Graham offer won a Sicilian said were a lot closer say that we were yesterday and only god knows what tomorrow brings. A senator Graham saying that that the US would protect Israel and if the US goes to war with Iran that he is confident that Iran would win. Nancy Pelosi speaker of the house has also talked this morning a saying there is no appetite for going to war I think it's a dangerous situation let's make sure that we don't have. The beating up the drum for something without the clarity of the facts involved so let's bring in Mary Bruce or congressional correspondent. Who is at the White House this morning and Mary two very different statements from Lindsey Graham and Nancy Pelosi. In dividend the president has been getting even some mixed messages from within his own party on what should come next year while our team has been speaking with many. Top Republicans on the hill who are urging caution. Against the use of force you mention those more hawkish. Republicans like senator Lindsey Graham coming out and saying there would be appropriate. For the US to use military force and he's been encouraging forceful action to reason that is so significant David is that Lindsey Graham is one of those key players on the hill who really has the president's ear and we heard from him just a short while ago saying that this entire situation presents a test to the president that he will be judged by what he does next there's no doubt that the president I'm sure is listening closely to those messages that he's getting from allies on the hill. Yet buried messages from over on the hill Mary talking about senator Lindsey Graham moments ago in fact he. I talked about the past President Obama the previous administration and her discussions of a red line. In Syria and hadn't said but let's not make the same mistake this time in so many words. Putting some pressure on the president to take a very close look at what he's witnessing from Iran let's listen senator pandas moments ago here's we said. Trop this. Old the Iranians you cannot disrupt navigation the city's you can't protect our interests our allies that's an unacceptable way to live the 21 century. They are testing him. They need to do so that they own peril. If they get away with this god help us what north Koreans throughout the world I'm convinced that as a last resort present trial. We'll stop this Vietnamese think I. That senator Lindsey Graham just moments ago I want to bring in our global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz again and Martha all of this playing out amid these rising tensions and a need for leadership at the top of the Pentagon several roles remain unfilled and confirmed by the senate and we have the acting pentagon chief. Reveal that he was out just a couple of days ago and Martha let's look at this video a just and this is from the Pentagon. They said this would offer but an illustration of perhaps of what they saw in the last a 24 hours in the GAAP measure. Watching us here this afternoon we are following breaking coverage. Of the White House and its decision making process after we learned a surveillance mission a drone was. Shot down by surface to air missile. From Iran taking down a US navy drone. Deep pentagon today saying this was an unprovoked attack that the surface to air missile was inside Iran this was an effort they say to disrupt surveillance of aircraft. In the Strait of Hormuz and as you know we've been reporting here. At length about those oil ships that have been attacked the US saying they have evidence in fact that it was the Iranians they showed that video previously. Of what appeared to be a Ronnie and ships taking away some of the debris from the mine the explosions in the waters there. The Pentagon making it clear this morning that they say this strong was a significant distance from the Iranian coastline and they called the attack irresponsible. And that could have put lives in danger but back to that point market that I made a moment ago. Leadership issues at the top of the Pentagon and these are these comet a very very serious time for the administration. They certainly do and you have acting Defense Secretary pat Shanahan. And soon should be. Acting Defense Secretary mark S spurred that will begin this weekend on Sunday on this handoff. Right in the middle of what's going on right now and we should remember that for tankers were attacked about a month ago. In the gulf and that we have sent 25 or are sending 2500. Additional forces to the area. I additional patriot missile batteries additional fighter aircraft this was all before this happened this. Was something that Central Command wanted for Force Protection I'm sure that drone was part of that surveillance and that sort of Force Protection. And also a reminder of how sophisticated. That drone is David. That drone cost more than a 120. Million dollars was flying they said and about thirty. Fourth a thousand kilometers. They say and we'll have to keep on this that it was in international waters and they arc certain about that no matter what the Iran insect. And of course that's the distinction being disputed by the Iran eons leading to this moment that we're now watching play out. We view all at home today and this has Martha points out was an unmanned aircraft. It cost more than a hundred million it was a Boeing let me give you an idea of a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737 just the size and scope of these strokes off and we think of the drones as much smaller this was eight. A major piece of equipment in the air at at a cost of more than a hundred million and it was in the air precisely. Because of what you heard Martha say there because of those attacks on oil ships in the region. I want to bring back and Cecilia Vega because another key point here has been the effort to present evidence not only to the American people what to be. Global audience listening and watching this very closely world leaders. Many had signaled that there wasn't enough evidence that they weren't comfortable yet that the Iranians were definitely behind what we saw with those oil ships. In recent days we heard something a little different from uncle Merkel in the last 24 hours to German chancellor but it questions about whether or not they have a coalition. Should they take this a step forward. And I think this is something that we've been talking about for a long time now. What will happen when the United States has a very serious international decision to make like whether to strike on another country. When credibility is on the line an and I think a lot of the president's critics would say that is certainly the case and that's what in these questions about Iran. And is going back to the it to thinking back to the what the president just that in the Oval Office that he finds it hard to believe that if it was intentional he said this he believes that this could have been somebody loosen stupid. Data that's not what Iran is saying Iran insults are saying shooting down the American spy drone had a clear decisive. Firm inaccurate message so I think some of those questions that we have been hearing leading up to today we will continue to here into tomorrow. Clear is viewed as senator Lindsey Graham I mentioned a moment ago that he spoke to reporters he saw little portion of that but he went on to say that the president does not want war with the Ron. As you know we reported here the Japanese prime minister had been sent to Iran was asked by the president. For prime minister they to deliver a message to be Ron aims to talk to you re engage in some sort of negotiation in some sort of diplomatic. Effort and I have a little more from the president in the Oval Office moments ago a hint perhaps that they are giving the Iranians some room here before he steps are taken let's listen. I don't know I didn't find it hard to believe it was intentional if you the truth I think that it could have been somebody who has. Lose and stupid and it. It would put back. It is very foolish move. The president suggesting it might have been someone loose and stupid as they've mentioned earlier. As we all know the president did tweet this morning be running to reacting to the president's tweet that that we came at 10:15 this morning Iran made a very big mistake. And senator Graham was asked about what the president had treated asking is that. Provoking the Iranians and he said know what's provocative is to shoot down a drone and again as we. Continue to hammer home this morning the difference here is he running and said that drone that was shot down was over Ronnie and air space and not international waters. As we heard from the US navy the Pentagon this morning they say that clearly was not true and that when the drone attack came down and hit the water it was an international waters and they point out. It could've put people in danger. We'll continue to fall this situation very closely throughout the days late news on ABC news digital live all afternoon abcnews.com. And of course our entire team we just saw here. We'll be on world news tonight the fifth later I'll see them back. This has been a special. From ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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