Last modified on Tue 23 Jun 2020 09.26 EDT
“Well, he said that he always, back in the day, as they say, he always wanted to be the one who broke up with the girl first,” Bolton said. “He didn’t want the girl to break up with him. And he used that to describe whether he would cancel the summit with observed: “Trump gloats about the half-dozen or so letters Kim has written him as if he were a smitten teenager in possession of valentines from a crush.”
When NPR interviewer Steve Inskeep asked if the president had “a kind of romantic approach to numerous dictators”, Bolton agreed: “Yeah, I think that’s an accurate description.”
Bolton is the latest ex-Trump aide to raise grave questions about the president’s fitness for office. The Room Where It Happened has initiated rare unity in Washington, with the condemned by Republicans for divulging the president’s private conversations and by Democrats for doing so in a $29.95 book rather than during the impeachment process.
Trump was impeached for his attempt to have Ukraine produce dirt on his political rivals. Bolton refused to testify in the House, then offered to do so in the Senate but was not called as Republicans secured a swift acquittal. Bolton discusses the Ukraine affair in his book.
“This really, in a sense, is a book about how not to be president,” he told NPR. “The decision making process was not coherent. It followed episodically and anecdotally on what the president thought. At any given time, decisions could be made and reversed and then reversed again in very rapid fashion. Decisions were made without ultimate objectives and strategies in mind.”
The former US ambassador to the United Nations who advocated for the Iraq war said he voted for Trump against Hillary Clinton in 2016 but having seen him up close for 17 months, cannot do so again.
“I’m planning to write in the name of a conservative Republican identity to be determined yet,” he said. “But I will not be voting for Donald Trump and I will not be voting for Joe Biden.”
The president and his allies have launched a counter-attack in an attempt to steal Bolton’s thunder, question his character and undermine his credibility.
On Monday the Axios website quoted an excerpt from a forthcoming book by former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. Writing about Trump’s state visit to London last year, she claims Bolton “apparently felt too important” to travel with other US officials in a small bus to Winfield House, the US ambassador’s residence.
“Bolton was a classic case of a senior White House official drunk on power, who had forgotten that nobody elected him to anything,” Sanders says, in Speaking for Myself.