Kuhner's Corner: Bolton’s betrayal

Fired national security advisor rips Trump

By: Jeffrey T. Kuhner

Et tu Bolton? Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has stabbed President Trump in the back.

At a private lunch meeting on Wednesday in Manhattan, Bolton excoriated Trump’s foreign policy. Recently fired by the president, Bolton took out his revenge at an event sponsored by the Gatestone Institute. Speaking to a room full of neoconservatives, Bolton said inviting the Taliban to Camp David for peace talks was not only wrong but insulting to the victims of 9/11. The reason: The Taliban had provided a safe haven for al Qaeda to launch the terrorist attacks.

According to attendees, Bolton also criticized Trump’s approach to Iran and North Korea. The war hawk said the president is naïve and gullible to believe negotiations could succeed to bring those rogue regimes to heel. In particular, he blasted Trump’s decision to not launch air and missile strikes against Iran after it shot down a U.S. drone earlier this summer. Bolton argued this has emboldened Tehran’s aggression in the region. In short, Bolton all but accused his former boss of Obama-style appeasement.

“He ripped Trump, without using his name, several times,” said one attendee to Politico.

That Bolton and Trump disagreed on key issues is well-known. The ex-national security advisor is a neocon interventionist, a warmonger who champions regime change and universal democracy. He supports nation-building in Afghanistan, bombing Iran and directly confronting North Korea. Like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Bolton never met a war he didn’t like. He and the president couldn’t be more different: Trump is a nationalist; Bolton is a globalist.

Contrary to the media’s lies, Trump is not some narrow-minded, dogmatic authoritarian. Rather, he enjoys listening to diverse points of view and staffing his administration with officials who have ideological differences. The problem with Bolton—and why he was rightly fired—is that he constantly leaked to the press, seeking to undermine the administration’s agenda after a decision had been made that he personally opposed. It’s one thing to disagree at a national security meeting. It’s quite another to try to sabotage the president’s policies.

There is a word to describe Bolton’s behavior: Treason. Moreover, there is something despicable about someone who persistently lobbies for a job, finally gets it, and then after 14 months of non-stop leaks and betrayal attacks the former boss who hired him. I know for a fact Bolton actively sought to be Trump’s national security advisor; it was a major reason why he appeared as a regular guest on my show. After Trump appointed him, I never heard from Bolton again. He is more than just a user. Bolton is a self-absorbed, narcissistic ingrate—a classic creature of the Washington swamp. (I guarantee you: He’ll never be a regular again).

More importantly, Bolton is part of a neoconservative cabal that has been wrong on almost every seminal national security issue. He was an architect of the Iraq war, which resulted in the deaths of over 4,500 U.S. soldiers, 32,000 wounded (many maimed and crippled) and a cost of $2 trillion. He supports our endless war in Afghanistan, where we have lost nearly 2,000 Americans and spent more than $1 trillion. He backed Obama’s disastrous (and illegal) military intervention in Libya. He wants to militarily topple the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, which would most likely lead to a war with Russia. He champions a massive bombing campaign against Iran, thereby triggering a wider Middle East conflict. And he continues to defend free trade with China, even though it has caused America to outsource 4-5 million manufacturing jobs, 60,000 factories and trillions in wealth.

With this record of failure, one would think neocons would reconsider their bellicose interventionism and free-trade globalism. But not Bolton.

He entered the Trump administration with the aim of subverting it. Trump’s America First agenda seeks to roll back the failed neoconservatism of the George W. Bush era. Trump’s goal is to extricate the United States from our forever wars in the Middle East, stand up to China’s predatory trade practices, restore American manufacturing, and secure our porous southern border.

If Bolton was so opposed to Trump’s populism and realist foreign policy, he should’ve done the honorable thing and resigned a long time ago. Instead, by attacking the president, Bolton now joins the long list of elitist Never-Trump Republicans who put the interests of the ruling class—and of themselves—above their country.    

-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston. His daily show airs 6:00-10:00 am EST. He can be reached at: jeffreykuhner@iheartmedia.com

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