Ex-aide Bolton says 2020 election is 'last guardrail' to protect US from Trump

Former adviser will write in the name of a 'conservative Republican' on his 2020 presidential ballot, spokeswoman says

Griffin Connolly
Monday 22 June 2020 04:17 BST
John Bolton's most explosive claims about Donald Trump in his new book

The 2020 presidential election this November is the "last guardrail" to protect the US from the continuation of Donald Trump's administration, John Bolton, the president's former national security adviser, has said.

In a tell-all interview with ABC News that aired on Sunday to promote his new book, The Room Where It Happened, Mr Bolton also explained why he did not want to participate in the House's impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump last year even though he believed the president's behaviour to be unbecoming.

"He was acquitted in the Senate. He didn't learn lessons from [being impeached], other than that he could get away with it, which leaves only the last guardrail... the election this November," Mr Bolton said. "I think the House Democrats built a cliff, they threw themselves off of it. And halfway down, they looked up and saw me, and said, 'Hey, why don't you come along?'"

Mr Bolton does not plan to vote for his former boss when he heads to the polls this November but said he would not support the likely Democratic candidate either.

Instead, he will write in the name of a "conservative Republican" on his 2020 presidential election ballot, a spokeswoman said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Trump does not appear to have any identifiable political ideology except doing that which he believes will lead to his re-election, his former national security adviser said.

"I don't think he's fit for office. I don't think he has the competence to carry out the job. I don't think he's a conservative Republican. I'm not going to vote for him in November. Certainly not going vote for Joe Biden either," Mr Bolton said.

"There really isn't any guiding principle that I was able to discern, other than what's good for Donald Trump's re-election," Mr Bolton said.

He added: "So a lot of people who did not really observe the president up close have complained that he has a short attention span. And he doesn't focus.

"I wanna say when it comes to re-election, his attention span was infinite. And his focus was very direct. It's just too bad there wasn't more of that when it came to national security.

Mr Bolton, who previously served three other Republican presidents in various national security and diplomatic roles, became Mr Trump's third national security adviser in April 2018. He resigned in September 2019 after multiple clashes with the president.

His book hits shelves on Tuesday.

The president has angrily hit back at Mr Bolton in recent days as the publication date of the tell-all book nears.

Mr Bolton is “a washed up guy,” Mr Trump said in an interview with Fox News last week.

The president also took to Twitter to label his former national security aide "a disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war."

House Democrats have accused Mr Bolton of putting his pocketbook before his patriotism by refusing their subpoena demands for his testimony during the impeachment inquiry only to put much of that information into a book he can sell.

"Tonight, Bolton was pressed on why he didn’t come forward and testify, instead saving it for a book," lead House Democratic impeachment manager Adam Schiff tweeted on Sunday during the airing of Mr Bolton's ABC interview.

"Bolton insisted it wasn’t about the cash. Well, to quote Dale Bumpers during a different impeachment: 'When you hear somebody say, "This is not about money," it's about money,'" Mr Schiff wrote.

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