Fox & Friends cohost Steve Doocy threw what should have been a lifeline to rehab Donald Trump's fawning posture toward Russia. Yet National Security Adviser John Bolton refused to take it.
After Bolton had another chance to cheerlead newly re-imposed Iran sanctions (and lead us closer to the war he’s been lusting for), Doocy asked about Russia’s interference in our elections. Noting that Bolton as well as the Homeland Security secretary and “all the intel chiefs” spoke last week about Russia’s continued efforts to meddle in our elections, Doocy added, “Given that, it kind of looks like Putin told our president a lie.”
It seemed like a no brainer of a question. But Bolton tap danced.
BOLTON: Well, he has said on numerous occasions the Russian state is not involved in election meddling. The Justice Department handed down an indictment a few weeks ago naming a dozen GRU officials, one of the Russian intelligence agencies. I don’t think there is any question that the Russian state is involved and that’s why the president wanted the four heads of some of the key agencies involved in detecting and preventing foreign election meddling to go out and tell the American people exactly what they’re doing. Now, they couldn’t tell them everything because obviously you’re not going to tell our adversaries what we’re doing so they can evade it, but certainly in general terms so that people could have faith that the government is protecting the integrity of the election process.
The president knew what they were going to say because he had been briefed on it a few days before in a National Security Council meeting. He wanted it. He didn’t just authorize it, he encouraged it.
So Bolton was willing to unequivocally contradict Putin’s assertion that he had not meddled but refused to come right out and say he lied to Trump. Given that Trump is the Fan in Chief of Fox & Friends and would likely be watching, Bolton almost certainly either knew or guessed that saying “Putin lied” would not please the boss.
On Sunday, Bolton also tap danced when asked by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace about the apparent disconnect between Trump's comments about Russian interference and the administrations'. Of course, Fox & Friends made none of the challenges to the disconnect as Wallace did.
Watch Bolton refuse to say Putin lied to Trump about interfering in our election below, from the August 7, 2018 Fox & Friends.
Correction: This post originally stated that the Trump administration has a fawning posture toward Russia. It's Trump, himself, who has a suspicious love for Russian President Vladimir Putin.