Washington Former national security adviser John Bolton responded to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday after accusing Bolton of leaking to the media and lying, saying that Pompeo sometimes served as one of President Trump’s “yes men” who decided ” tie his political future. ” “to the president.
In an interview with “CBS Evening News” host and editor Norah O’Donnell, Bolton responded to Pompeo’s criticism in the lead-up to Bolton’s memoir release, “The Room Where It Happened,” which arrived to stores on Tuesday. Bolton also discussed his views on Biden, the president’s relationship with China and the decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and more.
Pompeo told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday that he and Trump deliberately cut Bolton out of the meetings because he was leaking information to the press and “would change things or lie.”
Bolton’s highly anticipated revelation, detailing his experiences working for Trump in the White House, has already caused a stir in Washington. Last week the Department of JusticeAgainst Bolton, the goal of the book was to obtain an emergency order to stop its publication. But on Saturday, a federal judge in Washington the publication of the memoirs, although he acknowledges that the former national security adviser “played with the national security of the United States”.
Bolton declined to testify before House lawmakers as part of his impeachment investigation into Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and was not called to testify at the Senate impeachment trial.
Bolton also discussed Trump’s talks with North Korean Kim, whom he met from ain Singapore in 2018. While Trump touted his meeting with Kim and his continued communications with the dictator as one of his greatest foreign policy successes, Bolton called it a “manifest failure.”
“Trump believes that sitting with no one does not confer legitimacy on the other side, it does not give them anything. I think he is completely wrong,” he told O’Donnell. “And I think that in international affairs, countries around the world were surprised that he was prepared to reward the North Koreans for their uncompromising and unacceptable behavior. After three meetings with Kim Jong Un we got nowhere.”
In response to Bolton’s comments to the “CBS Evening News,” a Trump administration official said, “Let’s remember who was kicked out of the meetings, and that was John Bolton.”
Bolton on China, Kushner, Biden and November
John Bolton: I think that with regard to China, which for me is the existential threat to the United States in the 21st century, we are in a much worse situation.
China continues to be a growing global threat to the United States.
Norah O’Donnell: What capabilities does China have?
Well, national wealth alone gives them the kind of potential in cyberspace and in many other ways that Russia doesn’t have. Russia is a one-horse economy. And when the price of oil falls, they are in trouble. They happen to be a massive nuclear power.
I think it is correct, when the United States is criticized for having a quarterly reporting mentality, China thinks of decades and more, and we need that strategic approach. So when you look at Xi Jinping and that very far-reaching approach that they have compared to Donald Trump’s thinking, “This is an afternoon conversation,” it is no wonder that we are at a disadvantage.
You write in the book that President Trump asked Chinese President Xi for help in the 2020 elections. How explicit was the question?
Well this is an area where in the pre-post review process I was asked to change my description of what was said. And we had a lot of discussions on that point. But I finally agreed.
I will follow the agreement and leave it in what we said there.
Why is this a national security problem? Are you classified?
Because under the attack that the administration is already doing, I don’t want to give you any more evidence. But let’s be clear. Donald Trump is not concerned about foreigners reading this book. You are concerned that Americans read this book. That’s what it’s about.
I know, but you argue that it is important for the American people to know this before an election. Why not tell us what you were asking the Chinese president for?
Because when I wrote the book, I never intended to reveal classified information. I have been through four Republican administrations now and have never done that. I would not do it
Inside the White House, which adviser would you say has the most power?
Well, I think it may not be so evident at first, but now Jared Kushner is becoming more evident.
And is Jared Kushner, in your opinion, qualified to manage the portfolio he has within the White House?
Well, I can’t speak to the non-national security areas. The president can choose any political adviser he wants. But in the field of national security, I didn’t understand why his responsibilities were assigned to him.
Who is the surest choice for the United States Commander in Chief: President Trump or Joe Biden?
I will not vote for either one. And it’s about apples and oranges. It is a very bad choice from my point of view, at the presidential level. What I’m going to do is write on behalf of a conservative Republican leader.
Well, a writing is not going to win.
It is true. My plan is to expect a miracle.
Do you think that if President Trump loses in November, he will contest the election results?
Therefore, there may be a legitimate reason for either candidate to contest this or that state. The real problem, I think, is, is there any chance that he will refuse to leave?
And I have to believe that the Republican Party would rise up then, as it did in the case of Richard Nixon, and tell him that he had to get out.
Do you think the Republican Party would do that?
I hope so.
Bolton at Pompeo
You have been called a liar. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this morning that you were left out of meetings because “he was leaking or twisting things or lying.”
Yes. Well, Mike and I obviously have a substantial disagreement here, because I think his department was the ace of aces in the government for leaking stuff. He has made a decision, which is certainly his, to link his political future with Donald Trump. I think that is what he continues to do. I feel sorry for him for doing that. But obviously, I’m not going to change my mind.
Was Secretary Pompeo one of those “yes men” that you describe in the book?
In some cases, it was. And I did not understand why. He did not understand why, knowing that he did not agree with some of the things the president wanted, he did not try to work to persuade him. Look, these decisions are ultimately up to the President. We all understand that. But at some point, and I got to that point and others did, too, when you can’t make decisions with a good conscience, then it’s time to give up.
Bolton on North Korea
In North Korea, I mean, President Trump is the first acting president to meet with the North Korean leader. And the President promotes this as one of his great successes in foreign policy. It is a success?
No, it is a manifest failure. Trump believes that sitting with someone does not confer legitimacy on the other side, it gives them nothing. I think that is very wrong. And I think that in international affairs, countries around the world were amazed that he was prepared to reward the North Koreans for their uncompromising and unacceptable behavior. After three meetings with Kim Jong-un we got nowhere. But –
And what did the North Koreans get?
The North Koreans got somewhere. They continued their ballistic missiles and nuclear programs during that period. And made progress. And that’s something we can’t get back now. The destruction of the liaison office they built for South Korea is the fitting symbol of the failure of the Trump administration’s policy.
Bolton’s memoirs are published by Simon & Schuster, a division of ViacomCBS.