President Donald Trump attacked his former national security adviser John Bolton, referring to him as a “Wacko” over Bolton’s claims about Trump’s relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
“Just heard that Wacko John Bolton was talking of the fact that I discussed ‘love letters from Kim Jong Un’ as though I viewed them as just that,” the president wrote. “Obviously, was just being sarcastic. Bolton was such a jerk!”
Just heard that Wacko John Bolton was talking of the fact that I discussed “love letters from Kim Jong Un” as though I viewed them as just that. Obviously, was just being sarcastic. Bolton was such a jerk!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2020
In 2018, Trump, speaking at a rally in West Virginia, said he and Kim Jong Un “fell in love” because of Kim’s “beautiful letters.”
“I was really tough and so was he, and we went back and forth,” Trump said at the time. “And then we fell in love, OK? No, really, he wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”
Trump’s comments came after he and Kim met for a controversial summit to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The summit marked the first time an American president met with a North Korean leader.
In The Room Where It Happened, his memoir about his time working in the White House, Bolton alleged Trump put his personal interests of the United States in his dealings with Kim. Sitting for an ABC News interview in June, Bolton suggested Kim “gets a huge laugh” out of Trump’s claim that the two have a close relationship.
“I think Kim Jong-un gets a huge laugh out of this. I mean, these letters that the president has shown to the press — off the record and whatnot, but I’ve been in the room when he’s done it — are written by some functionary in the North Korean Workers Party Agitprop Office,” Bolton said at the time. “And yet, the president has looked at them as evidence of this deep friendship. Even if it were a deep personal relationship, it doesn’t change the fact Kim Jong-un is never going to give up his nuclear weapons program. And from the US national security point of view, that is the only thing that matters.”
It is unclear why Trump brought up Bolton, whose book was published at the beginning of the summer.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.