SEATTLE — Tensions are on the rise in the Persian Gulf after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. One tanker belongs to a Norwegian company, while the other is managed by a Japanese business. The U.S. Navy has sent ships to the area to provide support, and a short time ago, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran was responsible for the attacks.
"The Iranians have vital interest at stake. the econ constraints the trump admin has put in place to my surprise are starting to strangle them," said retired U.S. Army four-star General Barry McCaffrey. "If they ever did close the Gulf, no question we would fight and it'll be a regional disaster for everyone involved."
However, he said he thought that the closure of the Gulf was unlikely and that Iran would probably try to ask Europe for help in breaking the economic blockade.
Then he turned the discussion back to what has been happening at home.
"I used to think I understood what the constitution and the norms of behavior between the three branches of government are - no longer. I'm at a loss for words for trying to understand what Mr Trump's doing," he said.
He said he thought that the Democratic Party needs to rethink Republican voters as the country inches closer to election season.
"Now the only important conversational topic in dealing with Mr. trump is why over 40% of the country still supports him," he said. "I think the Democratic Party needs to think carefully; they're not all deplorables, racists - some of them are - [but] for a variety of reasons we've ended up with a president with no character."
He said that he thought the way that the Democratic Party may win the White House will be through an election, not through the findings of the Mueller report.
"It's going to get decided in 2020," General McCaffrey said. "It's going to get decided in two elections: the Democratic primaries. Does the Democratic Party run a candidate who's electable, who has the trust of the American people?"
He said it's also going to be decided in the general election.
"And finally, it's going to be decided by Mr. Trump, who's got some good ideas you know," General McCaffrey said. "Things like protecting America's borders and American jobs and a strong military - these are all good outcomes. But there's a good argument that a second term for Mr. Trump would do serious damage to the U.S. government."
Connect with General McCaffrey on Twitter: @mccaffreyr3