Trump’s own national security adviser baulks at call to involve him in Russia peace talks: ‘He’s not capable’

‘If Trump had been re-elected, Putin would be in Kyiv already’

Graig Graziosi
Monday 28 March 2022 17:12 BST
Related video: Romney blasts Trump for withholding Ukraine aid

John Bolton, who once served as former President Donald Trump's national security adviser, has been taking every opportunity to publicly insist that the war in Ukraine would be worse if the one-term Commander in Chief still held office.

Speaking with The Palm Beach Post, Mr Bolton said Mr Trump would not be "capable" of negotiating peace between Ukraine and Russia.

"He's not capable of it," he told the outlet. "This would require thinking through a policy and considering the pluses and minuses, the risks and costs involved. That's just not what he does."

Mr Bolton served as Mr Trump's national security adviser between May 2018 and September 2019.

Mr Trump has spent the last several weeks insisting that if he were still in power Russia would not have invaded Ukraine.

During a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Mr Trump claimed that the media was trying to push the US into a war in Ukraine, before claiming "my personality is what kept us out of war."

He insisted that he is the only one who could effectively talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin and claimed that Russia would not have attempted an invasion had he still be in office.

Mr Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, parroted his father’s claims, and even suggested the former president be sent to participate in the Nato peace talks.

Mr Bolton has a different take.

Speaking with The Washington Post, Mr Bolton claimed that Mr Trump would likely have withdrawn the US from Nato completely during his second term.

"In a second Trump term, I think he may well have withdrawn from Nato," he said. "And I think Putin was waiting for that."

During his discussion with the Palm Beach Post, the claimed Mr Trump was "very negative" about the US's participation in Nato. He claimed the former president would have stepped back and done nothing to stop Russia from taking Ukraine had he been re-elected.

Mr Bolton also pointed out that Mr Trump's first impeachment was the result of him trying to strong-arm Ukraine into providing dirt on Joe Biden's family or lose military funding. Mr Bolton claimed the funds Mr Trump threatened to withhold were critical to Ukraine's continued defence against Russia.

"The urgency of the particular $250m was that it was appropriated money that under the federal government's bizarre budget procedures would have expired on Sept. 30, 2019," he said.

Naturally, for Mr Trump, the war in Ukraine is simply another symptom for what he believes to be the "real" problem; the 2020 election.

"If I were in Office, this deadly Ukraine situation would never have happened!" Mr Trump said during a speech at CPAC in March, adding that "this horrific disaster would never have happened if our election was not rigged and if I was the president.”

During a radio interview with British broadcaster LBC, Mr Bolton claimed there might not have been a war in Ukraine currently if Mr Trump was president, but there also may not have been a Ukraine, either.

"If Trump had been re-elected, Putin would be in Kyiv already," he said.

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