Donald Trump launched a vicious attack on John Bolton Wednesday, claiming Bolton ‘begged’ him for a job and wanted to take the country into ‘World War Six’ before writing his ‘nasty & untrue book.’
The president took to Twitter to throw his bombshells at his former National Security Adviser – a move that came after Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell warned his party he doesn’t have the votes to prevent Democrats’ from calling Bolton to the witness stand in Trump’s impeachment trial.
‘For a guy who couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, “begged” me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying “Don’t do it, sir,” takes the job, mistakenly says “Libyan Model” on T.V., and many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?,’ Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Donald Trump launched a vicious attack on former National Security Adviser John Bolton on Wednesday morning
Trump claimed John Bolton ‘begged’ him for a job and would have taken country into ‘World War Six’
Trump fired Bolton in September over reported disagreement in policy. Bolton’s yet to be published memoir of his work in the White House – where he claims Trump said aid to the Ukraine should be held until that country agreed to investigate the Bidens – upended the president’s impeachment trial.
The president has denied Bolton’s charges but they turned the tide among senators toward calling additional witnesses in the case.
Bolton claimed he wasn’t fired by Trump but the two men had notable disagreements in major foreign policy areas, including on Iran and North Korea.
Trump’s claim Bolton couldn’t get confirmed as U.N. ambassador likely refers to Bolton’s time at the United Nations during George W. Bush’s presidency, a position he was given by a recess appointment. Bolton left the U.N. job at the end of his recess appointment – before he could go to the Senate for formal confirmation – amid questions about whether or not he had the support to be confirmed.
The National Security Adviser position does not require Senate confirmation.
Trump has expressed his frustrations with his former adviser but Wednesday morning’s attack was his harshest to date.
After the rally in New Jersey on Tuesday night, Trump tweeted that he wished Bolton had come forward with his complaints when he being ‘very publicly terminated’.
The tweet comes just days after Trump slammed Bolton’s claims that he was instructed to withhold aid from the Ukraine, made in his forth coming memoir ‘The Room Where It Happened.’
The New York Times published details from the manuscript that turned Trump’s impeachment trial on its head.
‘Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this ‘nonsense’ a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated,’ Trump said a tweet. ‘He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!’
Prior to the post, Trump slammed Democrats for trying to pull a ‘con job’ with impeachment proceedings.
‘No matter how many witnesses you give the Democrats, no matter how much information is given, like the quickly produced Transcripts, it will NEVER be enough for them,’ he said in the late Tuesday tweet. ‘They will always scream UNFAIR. The Impeachment Hoax is just another political CON JOB!’
Trump’s mutterings come as senators prepare for the next phase in his trial – their turn to ask questions of the defense and prosecution.
Trump tweeted early on Wednesday morning that he wished former National Security Adviser John Bolton would have came forward with his complaints when he was getting fired
The tweet comes just days after he slammed Bolton’s claims that President Trump told him to withhold aid from the Ukraine
Senators get 16 hours spread over two days to make their inquiries. The questions will be submitted in writing and Chief Justice John Roberts will read them aloud, directing them to either the House impeachment managers or the president’s lawyers.
Democrats plan to ask about claims in Bolton’s book that Trump said aid to the Ukraine should be held until that country agreed to investigate the Bidens, which the president has denied.
Republicans plan to focus their questions on Hunter Biden and his work with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma along with Democrats’ contact with the whistleblower.
Members of both parties could also ask friendly questions to their respective sides to help counter elements that come up through the day.
Leadership on both sides will coordinate the questioning – weeding out duplicate inquiries and rejecting outside-the-box ones.
After the questioning comes the debate over whether to call Bolton and other witnesses. Bolton has said he will testify if subpoenaed.
Senators have discussed a ‘one-for-one’ witness deal with Democrats would call Bolton and Republicans would call Hunter Biden but nothing formal has been announced.
Meanwhile, McConnell on Tuesday warned there aren’t the votes to block witnesses from being called. His warning came immediately after Trump’s lawyers rested their defense, as party leaders stood firm on the question of keeping out impeachment trial witnesses.
His acknowledgement came during a closed-door meeting with senators Tuesday after Trump’s lawyers ended their defense, and was reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Senate Republicans huddled after Trump’s lawyers made their final arguments that the president’s conduct wasn’t impeachable – using only half their allotted time in a chamber the GOP controls with a 53-vote majority.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota said Bolton’s revelations – which prompted a political battle over whether he should be believed – don’t matter.
In this image from video, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Later, he told fellow Republicans the votes
‘I don’t think anything he says changes the facts,’ Thune said. ‘We’re kind of confident’ the Trump impeachment trial won’t extend beyond Friday, he added.
‘The consensus is that we’ve heard enough and it’s time to go to a final judgement,’ Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming told The Hill.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says he wants to hear what Bolton has to say, and Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have said they want to hear from witnesses.
Democrats only need four Republican senators to vote with them on calling more witnesses.
A small number of Republicans have either expressed potential support for hearing from witnesses, or said they were holding out until the end of the week. McConnell’s comments is certain to focus minds – and potentially bring more outside pressure from President Trump, who has called the trial a hoax and wants it to end.
Senators acknowledge there is no deal yet on how to proceed, after Bolton’s revelations prompted a series of potential proposals – including deals to pair witnesses for each party, or efforts to subpoena his manuscript without putting the witness himself under oath.
But with several key holdouts saying they are still waiting to make up their minds, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell is telling colleagues he doesn’t have the votes to dispense with witnesses.
Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, told Capitol reporters he won’t make up his mind until the Senate spends Wednesday and Thursday taking written questions from senators. ‘Then I’ll make a decision about whether we need more evidence,’ he said.
One Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, appeared to hedge on whether she wold vote to remove Trump from office, only to issue a clarification via Twitter.
Trump’s defense team concluded its opening arguments Tuesday by taking a hit at Bolton’s upcoming book, claiming it is ‘unsourced’ and insisting the manuscript of the memoir would not be admissible in the trial.