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President Donald Trump’s former deputy national security advisor predicted “it wouldn’t end well” between him and John Bolton, noting that the two men clashed right from the start.
In an opinion piece published by Fox News Monday, K.T. McFarland revealed that she had “doubts” about Bolton’s ability to successfully be Trump’s national security adviser after an encounter two years before he even took the job. McFarland recounted a 2016 incident in which Bolton acknowledges he had voted for Trump but added, “He’s an idiot, but anybody is better than Hillary Clinton.”
“I figured it would be a rocky ride for them both and predicted it wouldn’t end well,” she wrote, elaborating on the former ambassador’s stint in the Trump administration as she weighed in on Bolton’s “lucrative book deal.”
“No doubt John Bolton will get rich selling his White House story and will become the newest darling of the Trump-hating world,” she wrote. “But at what price to the nation? More division, more rancor, more hatred.”
McFarland joined a chorus of condemnation for Bolton who has come under fire for the tell-all memoir about his time in the Trump administration, as he has been slammed for not coming forward with his allegations before but waiting to publish them in a book deal reportedly worth $2 million.
“Bolton and Trump clashed from the beginning – not just over policy, but in style and temperament,” McFarland wrote in her op-ed, noting that, while the president was focused on rebuilding America’s economy and using that “as leverage to renegotiate trade deals,” Bolton was pushing for preemptive military action, especially against nations like Iran, Syria and North Korea.
“Trump was an outspoken critic of Bush’s Iraq war, Bolton one of its architects. I once asked Bolton whether his child had considered military service. He looked at me dismissively and said, “No, of course not.” So, it was all right for other people’s children to fight in his forever wars, just not his own,” McFarland wrote.
She alleged that when Trump did not follow Bolton’s prescribed plans of action, he would become the “anonymous source” for the willing and complicit liberal media looking for anything to prove Trump’s incompetence.
“Bolton was so convinced of his superior intelligence that he was condescending to everyone, including the president. He was increasingly isolated within the West Wing; cabinet officers ignored him and went behind his back directly to the president,” McFarland noted. “He even avoided contact with his own National Security Council staff.”
Bolton told ABC News this weekend that he hoped history would remember Trump as “a one-term president” and contended that the Trump administration poses a “danger for the republic,” declaring he would not be voting for Trump – or even Joe Biden – in November.
John Bolton kicks off revenge tour with ABC, then says he’s not voting for Biden … as if that matters https://t.co/FB70gAsdUN
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 22, 2020
McFarland, who served under former national security adviser Michael Flynn for the first four months of the Trump administration, revealed that her former NSC colleagues wondered what Bolton was doing “sitting in his office behind closed doors” much of the time.
“Now we know – he was, in all likelihood, turning his copious notes into a manuscript, presumably in anticipation of getting a lucrative book deal, and rushing it into print quickly when the inevitable happened and he was fired,” she wrote, referring to Bolton’s ouster in September 2019.
Taking aim at Bolton’ book directly, McFarland called him out for complaints that were mostly about what “Trump said in the Oval Office, what he mused about doing when he was letting off steam or fantasizing about settling scores with fake news or the deep state.”
“That’s classic Trump,” she contended, calling the meetings “free-for-alls, with everybody weighing in” because the president “is not a passive recipient of information.”
Trump uses the “brainstorming sessions” to toss out ideas and expects his staff to follow suit, McFarland said, adding that advisers are expected to “lay out the flaws in his arguments and warn him if what he’s proposing is illegal or out of bounds.”
“That is why presidents have ‘executive privilege,’ which is the right to keep discussions with top aides confidential,” she added, arguing that Bolton has now “shred executive privilege for future presidents.”
“There will no longer be such a thing as an off-the-record conversation between a president and his advisers. Everything, every speculation, every offhand remark will be fair game for the next kiss-and-tell book,” McFarland wrote, noting how many of Bolton’s allegations don’t make sense and that Trump “is no professional politician; he revels in his political incorrectness.”
She went on to defend some of Trump’s actions which Bolton blasted in his book, wondering – as many of Bolton’s critics – why he “refused to come forward during impeachment.”
“He offered some flim-flam excuses, but perhaps his motivation was financial. Testifying publicly before Congress before his book was on sale would have undercut its shock value – and his profits,” she wrote. “Washington has always attracted the venal and the vain, the ambitious and the arrogant, but even they must blanch at what John Bolton has done.”
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