Bolton says Trump rhetoric shows he's 'fundamentally ignorant' about national security

Bolton 2019

Former President Trump’s rhetoric shows he’s “fundamentally ignorant” about national security, his ex-national security adviser John Bolton said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Bolton, who has repeatedly blasted Trump since leaving the administration, was reacting to a clip of Trump’s speech in which the former president questioned Europe’s funding of Ukraine’s military and the U.S.’s long-term future with the NATO.

“It reveals an important trait about Trump on national security issues and many others,” Bolton said. “He’s fundamentally ignorant, and he really doesn’t care about the facts. He thinks international relations are about personal relations, which is a line and approach that I can tell you, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are eagerly looking forward to.” 

Bolton, who is promoting a new edition of his memoir, voiced a similar warning in August, saying Trump threatens the U.S. relationship with NATO.

“In a second Trump term, we’d almost certainly withdraw from NATO,” Bolton said at the time.

Bolton said Wednesday that world leaders think of Trump as a “laughing fool.” The day before, Bolton, who served in his White House in 2018 and 2019, said Trump is a selfish man seeking retribution against his enemies. 

On Thursday, Bolton talked up former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Trump’s rival in the GOP primary, saying she can “carry the banner” for people who are skeptical of the Republican Party nominating Trump.

Bolton hopes that Haley, who is currently trailing Trump in the South Carolina primary by 32.3 percent according to a polling index by The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, would be able to stay in the race until the Republican National Convention in July. He also predicted that if Trump is at the top of the GOP ticket, it will hurt Republicans in the House and Senate races. 

“Well, I would advise [Haley that] I hope she would stay in until the convention and carry the banner for anybody who doesn’t want Trump,” Bolton said.

“A meteor might yet strike the Earth, that’s possible. It’s possible there’ll be an event in one of these criminal prosecutions that would really wake a lot of people up until the convention in August. I just don’t think that we should surrender, in effect, to Trump. And I think this has a significant impact on the Senate and House elections this year as well,” he said.

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