Donald Trump ‘hasn’t got the brains’ for dictatorship: Ex-adviser John Bolton

Former US National Security Adviser (NSA) John Bolton, in a sharp criticism of Donald Trump, said his ex-boss “hasn’t got the brains” to become a dictator, while also questioning his professional background, commenting that “he’s a property developer, for God’s sake”.

In September 2019, the former President sacked Bolton after they significantly disagreed on Iran, Afghanistan and a myriad other global challenges. Bolton and Trump frequently clashed on foreign policy issues, with the latter accusing the former NSA of not getting along with others in the administration and being out of step with him on policy.

In an exclusive interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, the 75-year-old Bolton was asked if Trump, the lone remaining contender for the Republican nomination for this year’s presidential election, had dictatorial tendencies.

To this, he replied, “He hasn’t got the brains! He’s a property developer for God’s sake.”

Bolton’s remark came months after Trump, while addressing the New York Young Republican Club’s 111th Annual Gala in December 2023, said he wanted to be a dictator for “one day”.

“You know why I wanted to be a dictator? Because I want a wall, and I want to drill, drill, drill,” he said in reference to the wall along the southern border with Mexico and drilling in the US.

In the past as well, the former President has praised autocratic leaders, including North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who he met earlier this month, the Guardian newspaper reported.

During the interview with Le Figaro, Bolton was also asked about what would be the consequences for American foreign policy if Trump returned to the White House after the November election.

He said it would be a mistake to consider Trump a “normal politician”.

“Donald Trump doesn’t have a political philosophy, he doesn’t get involved in policy analysis or decision-making in the way we normally use those terms. For him, everything is episodic, anecdotal, transactional. And everything is contingent on the question of how it would benefit  Donald Trump, politically or personally,” Bolton said.

“When people talk about his policies, they are talking about something that does not exist. Trump made thousands of decisions during his presidency,” he added.

The former NSA also said that if his former boss was re-elected for a second term, it was “very likely” that he would leave Nato.

“Trump, when he has an idea, comes back to it again and again, then gets distracted, forgets, but eventually comes back to it and acts on it. That’s why leaving Nato is a real possibility. A lot of people think it’s just a negotiating tool, but I don’t think so,” Bolton was quoted as saying.

When he was in office, Trump was a vocal critic of the military alliance, repeatedly threatening to pull out of it. He cut defence funding to Nato and frequently complained that the US was paying more than its fair share.

In February, he faced widespread criticism after the former President complained about what he called “delinquent” payments by Nato members and recounted what he said was a past conversation with the head of “a big country” about a potential attack by Russia.

“No, I would not protect you. In fact I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay,” Trump said he told the unnamed leader.

Published By:

Karishma Saurabh Kalita

Published On:

Mar 31, 2024

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