It is possible that Trump’s position had just changed. But journalists were reporting the position he and his top officials had repeatedly expressed over the previous 14 months.
Facts First: Trump said in June 2019 and in July 2018 that he would meet with Iran with “no pre-conditions.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both said the same — five days before this tweet.
Here’s a timeline of instances in which Trump and senior administration officials said he was willing to meet with Iran with no pre-conditions:
“I think you know we’ve done more sanctions on Iran than anybody. And it’s absolutely working. Now, the President has made clear he is happy to take a meeting with no pre-conditions, but we are maintaining the maximum pressure campaign,” said Mnuchin.
When Pompeo was asked if he could foresee a meeting between Trump and the leader of Iran this month, around the United Nations General Assembly, Pompeo said, “Sure.”
“The President has made very clear he is prepared to meet with no pre-conditions,” he said.