Trump's now-former national security adviser John Bolton is officially out of the White House which means it's time for Trump to not just throw him under the bus but also repeatedly drive over him.
Trump spoke to reporters at the White House this afternoon where he strongly implied that John Bolton is the reason why he's never been able to secure some sort of deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump 'doesn't blame' Kim Jong-un, you see, because Bolton said a bad thing once.
“We were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the ‘Libyan model.’ And he made a mistake. As soon as he mentioned that, the Libyan model, what a disaster. Take a look at what happened to Gaddafi with the Libyan model. And he’s using that to make a deal with North Korea? And I don’t blame Kim Jong-Un for what he said after that. And he wanted nothing to do with John Bolton. That’s not a question of being tough. That’s a question of being not smart to say something like that.”
It is cosmically ironic that, on the 18th anniversary of 9-11, the Republican president is officially siding with a member of the so-called Axis of Evil against his own national security adviser who had a hand in originally designating the Axis of Evil.
Bolton probably should not have implied that Kim Jong-un could be overthrown and killed if he gives up his nuclear weapons, but it's not as if Kim Jong-un decided not to give up his nuclear weapons just because of that. Kim was never going to give up his nuclear weapons and he's still not going to now that Bolton is gone.
This is how it's going to be from here on out and even after Trump is out of the White House. Everything -- every failure -- is going to be assigned to someone else.
Lest anyone get the idea of praising Trump for firing Bolton, or get the idea that this signals a turn toward more peaceful policy, Trump mocked Bolton's image as a "tough guy" and implied that Bolton was actually weaker than he is.
Trump again claimed later in his remarks that it was he, not Bolton, who at times advocated for a more muscular foreign policy approach, despite Bolton’s perceived proclivity for military intervention and championing of the 2003 invasion of Iraq from within former President George W. Bush's administration.
“You know, John wasn't in line with what we were doing, and actually, in some cases, he thought it was too tough what we were doing,” Trump said. “‘Mr. Tough Guy.’ You know, ‘You have to go into Iraq.’ Going into Iraq was something that he felt very strongly about.”
What Trump refers to as toughness is actually just recklessness.
Trump is reportedly considering Richard Grennell as a replacement for John Bolton and will meet with Grennell this weekend.
If Trump picks Grennell or virtually anyone else on the shortlist of names that's been reported, he will have officially chosen someone worse than Bolton.