The plan and reversal was first reported by The New York Times.
A senior level administration source briefed on the plan says it would have escalated the situation quickly had it been carried out. Officials feared the attack could have caused hundreds of civilian casualties.
Iran shot down a U.S. drone early Thursday, claiming it had flown into the country’s airspace. The U.S. government claims it was operating in international airspace.
Trump called Iran’s decision to shoot down the drone “loose and stupid” when speaking to the press following a discussion with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The comments came following a morning meeting with his top national security advisers over the downing of what the U.S. military said was an unarmed and unmanned U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk drone flying over the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz.