John Bolton Blasts Trump’s Foreign Policy Decisions In Private Meeting
Bolton did not use Trump’s name but criticized the president on nearly every major foreign policy issue, from the president’s failure to counter Iran’s attack on an American drone to his unwillingness to impose harsher sanctions on North Korea due to their growing nuclear capabilities.
According to Politico, two people who attended Wednesday’s meeting claimed Bolton said he believed negotiations with Iran and North Korea were “doomed to failure.”
The hawkish former ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush also rebuked Trump’s decision to invite the Taliban for discussions at Camp David earlier this month. Bolton said the move, which came around the 18th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, was “disrespectful” to the victims of the tragedy, given that the Taliban had collaborated with Al Qaeda.
Bolton also reportedly hinted at one point during Wednesday’s meeting that Iran may not have launched an attack against a pair of oil tankers in Saudi Arabia this month if Trump had decided to retaliate against the former country’s drone strike. The former national security adviser also labeled the attack on Saudi Arabia — which is believed to have been committed by Yemen, despite American and Saudi officials blaming Iran — “an act of war.”
Trump fired Bolton last week, saying the former Bush administration member had made some “very big mistakes.” Bolton was known for having a tense relationship with many White House officials, including those at the Defense Department.
The lunch Bolton attended on Wednesday was held at the restaurant Le Bernardin in Manhattan. Other attendees included attorney Alan Dershowitz, former Fox Business Network host John Stossel and former attorney general Michael Mukasey.
On Wednesday, Trump named his replacement for Bolton: Robert C. O’Brien, a lawyer who is also the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.