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By Sarah May on
 August 4, 2023

John Bolton says second Trump term would lead to US withdrawal from NATO

As former President Donald Trump continues to press on with his 2024 campaign in the face of growing legal difficulties, his former National Security adviser, John Bolton, as weighed in with fresh criticism, suggesting that if re-elected, his onetime boss would “almost certainly” pull the United States out of NATO, as The Hill reports.

Well known for the unabashed disdain in which he holds Trump, Bolton referred to the former president's overall foreign policy as “erratic” and not grounded in any overarching set of principles.

Speaking to the outlet's program on NewsNation, Bolton declared, “Donald Trump doesn't really have a philosophy, as we understand it in political terms.”

Bolton went on, “He doesn't think in policy directions when he makes decisions, certainly in the national security space. It's all connected with how things benefit Donald Trump.”

Specific criticisms lobbed by Bolton at the current GOP frontrunner included the former president's deal with the Taliban that predated the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, something he dubbed a “disastrous mistake.”

In addition, Bolton opined that the prospect of another Trump presidency places the country's relationship with NATO in grave jeopardy.

“In a second Trump term, we'd almost certainly withdraw from NATO,” Bolton stated.

Bolton went on to argue that Trump's supposed achievements in the foreign policy realm were really driven by other administration officials who had to work very hard to persuade the former president to follow their lead.

“Those who make these claims about what Trump did in his first term don't really understand how we got to the places we did. Because many of the things they now give Trump credit for, he wanted to go in the opposite direction,” Bolton asserted.

The aforementioned criticisms of Trump were just the latest in a host of unflattering assessments offered by Bolton in recent days, as The Hill noted separately.

Speaking to CNN last week about Justice Department claims that Trump – amid his dispute with the federal government over retention of classified documents – sought to have aides at his Mar-a-Lago delete surveillance footage, Bolton was similarly disparaging of the former president.

“It's classic conventional wisdom now in Washington that the cover up is always the most vulnerable point. Trump doesn't learn much very quickly. He obviously didn't learn much about prior Washington scandals,” Bolton said.

Bolton's commentary about Trump continued, “His belief that constraints, rules, procedures didn't apply to him if he wanted to do something different is manifest throughout the original indictment” in the classified documents case. “He thinks he can do whatever he wants.”

Notably, Trump's take on Bolton has, historically speaking, been similarly unfavorable, with the then-president once labeling the former administration official “a guy who couldn't get approved for the Ambassador to the U,N. Years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job,” and was ultimately fired – a contention Bolton has long denied and which may be a significant contributor to the pair's ongoing feud.

Written By:
Sarah May

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