Trump denies U.S. military considering 120,000 troops to counter Iran threat

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U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Jim Malloy, commander, Task Force 50, speaks to the crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper on the ship’s flight deck at sea in the Arabian Gulf, November 17, 2016. Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan T. Beard/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied a New York Times report that U.S. officials were discussing a military plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East to counter any attack or nuclear weapons acceleration by Iran.

“I think it’s fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Makini Brice; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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