I am certainly glad that John Bolton is finally spilling the beans about just how dangerously unfit for office Donald Trump is but let’s not forget that if Bolton had his way, we’d probably be at war with Iran, North Korea and probably Venezuela already.
Bolton has said the United States should declare war on both North Korea and Iran. He was credibly accused of manipulating US intelligence on weapons of mass destruction prior to the Iraq war and of abusive treatment of his subordinates. He once “joked” about knocking 10 stories off the UN building in New York. That means his new appointment to be the most important national security official in the White House has significant — and frightening — implications for Trump’s approach to the world.
Bolton was a Fox News contributor for many years before his ill-fated time with Trump. When Bolton left Fox for the White House, I wrote, “there may not be any war that Bolton doesn’t love – except the one he could have fought in.”
And I certainly don’t buy Bolton’s disdain for the Democratic impeachment process as an excuse for not testifying to the House, which he discussed more fully with Fox’s Martha MacCallum yesterday.
That said, Bolton painted a devastating portrait of Trump during his interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on Sunday. With all the negative things I could say about Bolton, “liar” is not one of them.
Not surprisingly, Baier and MacCallum sidestepped much of Trump’s utter unfitness in their interviews with Bolton. But there were two revealing moments with Baier that jumped out at me. One, was Bolton’s nauseating delight at Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement (in the third video below):
BOLTON: It's true that the Trump administration policy on Iran is very different from Barack Obama's. But for the first 14 months of the Trump administration it wasn't that different. He said he wanted to get out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, but when I joined in April of 2018, we were still in the Iran nuclear deal. Now, we got out one month later. I probably should have left the administration then. That was my happiest moment probably of the whole time.
Maybe Bolton was thrilled at the prospect of growing closer to war with Iran but the fact is that relations with Iran got worse after Trump withdrew.
Not that Baier mentioned that unflattering-to-Trump point. He did ask whether Trump’s decision not to attack Iran in January was what prompted Bolton to resign. Surprisingly, Bolton said (in the second video below) that it was not that but Trump’s idea to invite the Taliban to Camp David to sign a peace treaty that was the final straw.
BAIER: And was that point, the failure to launch an attack against Iran after the drone strike?
What the final straw was, although it was really the accumulation of events, was the president's idea of inviting the Taliban to Camp David to sign the so-called Afghan Peace Agreement, which I thought was a bad agreement. I thought the president was pursuing the wrong policy, and I thought that the decision to bring them to Camp David was just -- I just couldn't respond to it.
You can watch the complete interview below, from the June 23, 2020 Special Report.