March 6, 2019


John Bolton puts his singular stamp on Trump's National Security Council (Karen DeYoung, Greg Jaffe, John Hudson and Josh Dawsey March 4, 2019, Washington Post)

The contradictions of Bolton's tenure were apparent in the wake of last week's collapsed Hanoi summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Bolton dutifully reiterated Trump's assessment that the summit was a success. But he offered little support for that judgment or the president's approach beyond saying in an interview with CNN on Sunday that Trump "remains optimistic."

Asked whether the summit effort was worth it, Bolton took a pass.

"He obviously thinks it's worth trying," Bolton said of the president.

Asked about Kim's insistence that he wasn't involved in the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, Bolton declined to back Trump, who had said he took Kim "at his word."

"My opinion doesn't matter. . . .," he said. "I am not the national security decision-maker. That's [Trump's] view." [...]

He has cut to a bare minimum meetings in which top national security officials present and vet options for the president. In some cases, he has replaced subject experts detailed to the National Security Council from other agencies with ideological soul mates who have little experience serving at the most senior levels of policymaking.

His approach to the job and the president's disinclination to read lengthy briefings or consult experts have afforded Bolton vast power over an often disorderly foreign policy process.

And Donald is so blinded by his hatred of Iran he doesn't even notice the Neocon coup. Comic gold.

Posted by at March 6, 2019 4:00 AM