Tell us something new, John

Former National Security Advisor to Donald Trump and ultra-right wing neoliberal uber war hawk John Bolton, who pretty much wanted to use the US military to attack any country that even dared to look crosswise at the US, has given an interview about his upcoming book that describes Trump in ways that those of us who are sentient and not blinded by the glare of Trump worship have known all along, concluding that he is ‘not fit for office.’.

John Bolton, ahead of the release of his explosive new book about his 17 months at the White House, called Donald Trump not “fit for office”, claiming the president doesn’t have “the competence to carry out the job”.

In a preview on Good Morning America Thursday, Bolton spoke to Martha Raddatz, chief global affairs correspondent, calling Trump a “stunningly uninformed” man whose ignorances could be easily manipulated by foreign adversaries.

“He was so focused on the re-election that longer-term considerations fell by the wayside,” He said. “There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what’s good for Donald Trump’s re-election”.

“I was sick at heart over Trump’s zeal to meet with Kim Jong-un,” he wrote according to an advanced copy seen by ABC, adding he would be “hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during [his] tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations”.

Other news reports from reporters who have read the book prior to its release provide more details that are interesting, though sometimes gossipy.

Bolton describes several instances where Trump waffles on China-related issues after conversations with Xi, notably on the mass concentration camps Beijing was using to imprison and “re-educate” Uyghur Muslims. Bolton writes that according to the US interpreter in the room during a conversation between Xi and Trump at the G-20 meeting in June 2019, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was “exactly the right thing to do.”

Bolton adds that Trump didn’t want to sanction China for their crackdown on the Muslim minority because of ongoing trade negotiations. “Religious repression in China was also not on Trump’s agenda; whether it was the Catholic Church or Falun Gong, it didn’t register,” Bolton writes.

Bolton describes a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un in which the North Korean despot blamed troubled relations between his country and the US on the actions of prior administrations. Emphasizing the meetings he and Trump had held, Kim told the President that they could dispel mistrust and work quickly toward a nuclear agreement. After Trump told Kim that he would seek Senate ratification of any agreement with North Korea, Bolton writes that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo passed him a notepad. On it was scribbled the message, “he is so full of shit.”

Bolton says the weekly meetings to discuss issues, chaired by Trump in the Roosevelt Room or the Oval Office, more closely resembled college food fights than careful decision-making, with no lower-level effort or involvement by the relevant agencies to sort out the issues and the options. “After these sessions, had I believed in yoga, I probably could have used some,” Bolton wrote.

It’s a theme Bolton returns to more than once, describing a mercurial President who has little interest in learning how the federal government worked. Instead, he describes Trump as very focused on how decisions will play in the media.

Trump also asked if Finland was part of Russia, did not know that the UK had nuclear weapons, kept confusing the names of the Afghan presidents, claimed that Venezuela was really a part of the US and that it would be cool to invade it, and was willing to grant personal favors to foreign leaders he liked, such as intervening in investigations into them.

So basically the book says that Trump is an ignorant idiot whose only interest is in how his actions play out in the media, his standing in the polls, and his re-election. But we all knew that, didn’t we? And people like Bolton helped put him in office even though these qualities were patently obvious long before. Careerists like Bolton and others bought the bill of goods Trump was selling and now they are trying to scurry away from him as fast as they can, and make a quick buck while doing so.

UPDATE: Early reviews of the book have been scathing.

Early reviews of the book have not been favourable. The New York Timessaid the memoir was “bloated with self-importance, even though what it mostly recounts is Bolton not being able to accomplish very much”. Filled with “minute and often extraneous details”, the review continued, it “toggles between two discordant registers: exceedingly tedious and slightly unhinged”.

The Washington Post said that “for a memoir that is startlingly candid about many things, Bolton’s utter lack of self-criticism is one of the book’s significant shortcomings”, while NPR found that Bolton “clearly does not expect to attract the casual reader, or anyone else unable to digest sentences such as this one on the third page: ‘Constant personnel turnover obviously didn’t help, nor did the White House’s Hobbesian bellum omnium contra omnes (war of all against all)’.”


  1. says

    I hope the ultra-right wing neoliberal uber war chickenshithawk or whatever’s book is a hit, and more Rethuglicans don’t vote for Trump because of it.

  2. seachange says

    There was a girl in my middle school who was hydrocephalic but had a high verbal skill nonetheless. She was not capable of much thought about the words she said. There was no Velcro back then, so she had buckle shoes instead of shoelace shoes. She was still not capable of buckling them back up. Her mom had been dressing her and doing her homework and had been lying for her, because to her mother the goal of a girl being in school was to get a husband and getting pregnant was a perfectly good way to do that.

    This book’s description by Bolton of President Tinyfingers McBonespurs’ speech and thought patterns describes this girl’s behavior to a T. She said whatever got a positive response without much concern for what it meant, only gauging how positive each response she got was and then strung them together in an engaging garble.

    That she was demonstrably not putting any thought into what she said was not immediately apparent to my schoolmates or teachers. I got into a lot of trouble for not liking the popular girl. It took my discovery that she was doing sex with boys and adult men just because of the positive response and not with any understanding to get her removed from school. and even then my baldly stating that this is what she was doing to those whou should have cared didn’t work.

  3. jrkrideau says

    More than one US president has been geographically challenged.

    “It’s difficult to have a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia. There is nothing to do about it. Apparently that’s the level of political culture of a certain part of the American establishment.”
    V. V. Putin

    The jibe was referring to a gaffe made by then-US President George W. Bush during an APEC summit in Australia in 2007. In a series of blunders, the Republican leader thanked Sydney for “being such a fine host for the OPEC summit,” and later recounted how then-Australian Prime Minister John Howard had gone to visit “Austrian troops” in Iraq.

  4. Holms says

    So a guy that could have dished it up as a witness in a congressional hearing… saved it all up for personal profit and image revamping. Fuck this guy.

  5. Who Cares says

    In a preview on Good Morning America Thursday, Bolton spoke to Martha Raddatz, chief global affairs correspondent, calling Trump a “stunningly uninformed” man whose ignorances could be easily manipulated by foreign adversaries.

    It is only bad if it is done by someone classed as an enemy.
    And the excerpts I’ve read it is basically Bolton complaining that he couldn’t manipulate Trump long enough to basically declare war on the world.

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