Bolton says Trump is concerned only about his reelection

“When it comes to reelection, his attention span is infinite,” he told Martha Raddatz.

Bolton says Trump  is concerned only about his reelection

Former national security adviser John Bolton said that President Donald Trump's otherwise limited attention span was "infinite" when it came to his reelection, a looming event that shaped almost every decision.

In an interview with Martha Raddatz of ABC News that aired Sunday — days before Bolton's scathing tell-all of his time working for the Trump administration will be released — Bolton said he didn't "see anything where [reelection] wasn't the major factor."

"A lot of people have complained that he has a short attention span and he doesn't focus," Bolton said. "When it comes to reelection, his attention span is infinite. It's just too bad there wasn't more of that when it came to national security."

In his book, "The Room Where it Happened,” Bolton calls the president "stunningly uninformed." During the ABC interview, he said he had to explain concepts over and over again, like why the Korean peninsula was partitioned in 1945 at the end of World War II. Trump was unwilling to do "systematic learning" and hadn't read much of anything, Bolton said. Intelligence briefings took place once or twice a week; Bolton said they should have been happening daily.

On national security, Bolton said there was no real policy: Trump seemed to think a good personal relationship with China's Xi Jinping, Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un was equivalent to a good relationship between the United States and their respective countries.

And Bolton said he believes these foreign leaders get "a huge laugh" out of their relationship with Trump and believe they can "play him like a fiddle."



"I don't think he's fit for office, I don't think he has the competence to carry out the job. There really isn't any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what's good for Donald Trump's reelection," Bolton told Raddatz.

Though he and Trump didn't directly talk about reelection, Bolton said it was clear the president focused on photo opportunities, how things would play on Twitter, and how the press would react through a politically calculated lens.

Bolton's memoir, out Tuesday, also alleges that Trump encouraged China’s construction of camps for its Uighur population, and that he pleaded with Chinese President Xi Jinping to purchase American agricultural products in order to aid his reelection. The book affirms House Democrats’ impeachment evidence that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals in exchange for military assistance.

Bolton reiterated in the ABC interview that the impeachment inquiry was too narrowly focused on Ukraine. However, he had refused to testify during the inquiry last fall after the White House barred him — and others — from doing so. The former national security adviser offered to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed, but Republican senators blocked calling him as a witness.

“Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted Wednesday. Several critics have accused Bolton of trying to make a profit off of his knowledge after the fact.

In the interview that aired Sunday, Bolton said the House committed impeachment malpractice by rushing the process and said, when challenged by Raddatz, that his testimony wouldn't have made a difference with the way Democrats were operating.

"They didn't want to mess up the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, I find that conduct almost as bad and somewhat equivalent to Trump," Bolton said.

The anticipated memoir was subject to a security review and a legal challenge from the Justice Department, after the Trump administration alleged it contained classified material. Nevertheless, physical and digital copies of the book have been circulating for several days. A PDF turned up on the internet over the weekend, offering a free, pirated edition.


Trump has called Bolton a “liar” and a ”disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war.” Multiple Cabinet officials have disputed the version of events laid out in the memoir. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced Bolton as a “traitor.”

Bolton said in the ABC interview that he believes the Trump administration wanted to prevent his memoir from being published before November’s election, and he expects the president's reaction to be "volcanic."

As the country is rocked by rising infections from the coronavirus pandemic and protests over racism and police brutality, polls show Trump's popularity dropping. A new national Ipsos/Reuters poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden leading the president 48 percent to 35 percent.

Bolton — a longtime Republican who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — voted for Trump in 2016. This time, he said he won't vote for Trump or Biden, though he may write in the name of a conservative Republican.

"I hope [history] will remember [Trump] as a one-term president who didn't plunge the country irretrievably into a downward spiral we can't recall from. We can get over one term. I have absolute confidence — even if it's not the miracle of a conservative Republican being elected in November."

Source : Politico USA