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Trump says he did not give final approval for Iran strikes, no planes were in the air

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Trump says he did not give final approval for Iran strikes, no planes were in the air
Copyright  REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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President Donald Trump said Friday that he hadn't given final approval to any military strikes against Iran and added that no planes were in the air. In an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd for "Meet the Press," Trump was asked if planes were in the air and he responded, "No, but they would have been pretty soon, and things would have happened to a point where you would not turn back, you could not turn back."

"Nothing was greenlighted until the very end because things change," Trump said during the interview with Todd on Friday. Earlier Friday, the president tweeted that he was "cocked and loaded" to strike the targets but deemed the loss of life would be disproportionate to the downing of a U.S. drone.

He told NBC on Friday that a plan was "ready to go, subject my approval." Trump said that before he issued a final decision, he asked his generals, "I want to know something before you go. How many people would be killed, in this case, Iranians?" The generals said approximately 150 people would be killed, the president said."I thought about it for a second and I said, you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with a 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead," Trump said "And I didn't like it, I didn't think, I didn't think it was proportionate."

The interview will air Sunday on "Meet the Press."