President Donald Trump railed against his former national security adviser John Bolton in a tweet this morning, claiming he gave Bolton “a chance” that had not paid off.
“I gave John Bolton, who was incapable of being Senate confirmed because he was considered a wacko, and was not liked, a chance,” he wrote. “I always like hearing differing points of view. He turned out to be grossly incompetent, and a liar,” he wrote.
The president referred his followers to a federal judge’s opinion on Bolton’s decision to publish a book about his time working in the White House.
“Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States,” wrote Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia. “He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability. But these facts do not control the motion before the court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm.”
I gave John Bolton, who was incapable of being Senate confirmed because he was considered a wacko, and was not liked, a chance. I always like hearing differing points of view. He turned out to be grossly incompetent, and a liar. See judge’s opinion. CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
The president’s claim was in stark contrast to his repeated assertions that he only hires “the best people.”
Last week, the president found himself in the crosshairs of questions about his hiring practices after CBS reporter Paula Reid asked the two questions many are wondering: “If the White House had Bolton’s book for six months prior to publication, why didn’t he try to block publication sooner?” and “Why do you keep hiring people that you believe are wackos and liars?”
Trump ignored Reid and left without answering her questions.
Bolton himself has been harshly criticized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who called his book, The Room Where It Happened, “a con.”
“I’m not paying any money for a book that was a substitute for testifying before Congress,” she said, a reference to Bolton’s refusal to testify during the House’s impeachment proceedings against the president. The Senate ultimately acquitted the president of any wrongdoing in his quid-pro-dealings with Ukraine; Bolton offered to testify before the Senate, a move Pelosi said Bolton knew would result in Republicans not issuing a subpoena or calling him as a witness.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.