The Trump administration is pushing back against reports that as many as 120,000 U.S. troops might head to the Middle East.
"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 would send a hell of a lot more troops than that," Trump said.
Tensions started ramping up in the region after Iran announced last week it would stop complying with some of the terms in the landmark nuclear deal.
On Monday, the New York Times reported that Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan was readying a plan to send 120,000 troops overseas *if Iran started ramping up its nuclear program. But that's the plan President Trump said doesn't exist.
Even though that specific troop plan might not exist, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently told CNBC the administration is working on some kind of contingency plan for Iran.
"But the President wanted to make sure that in the event that something took place, we were prepared to respond to it in an appropriate way. And as the Secretary of State, I wanted to make sure that we had all the political-diplomatic tools in the right place, and we wanted to make sure that we can provide the President with an option set in the event that the Iranians make a bad decision," Pompeo said.
Concerns about Iranian aggression might not be unfounded. An advisor for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted at President Trump Tuesday, saying "You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead."
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.