Ex-advisor Bolton sees Donald Trump as the worst US president of all time

John Bolton was Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, and then it fell apart. In the interview he talks about the mistakes in dealing with the president, his place in history – and about the dispute with Germany that will remain.

John Bolton passes harsh judgment on the man he served as National Security Advisor in the White House for 17 months. Donald Trump will “definitely go down in history as the worst US president,” said the Republican in an interview with t-online.

Bolton portrays the fear of many Republican politicians of the outgoing president as exaggerated. His party could quickly free itself from the clutches of Trump. “Trump will have more to do with the investigation into him and with his business and financial problems than with our party.”

The foreign policy hardliner, on the other hand, warns Europe and Germany that the major issues of the Trump era will persist even under President Joe Biden – and is hoping for a certain initiative from Angela Merkel in recent months in office.

t-online: Mr. Bolton, did you work for the worst US president of all time?

John Bolton: Yes, I think Trump will definitely go down in history as the worst US president. So far, James Buchanan has been considered the worst for breaking the United States in 1860 before the Civil War. But Trump will dispute this place for him. What happened with the storming of the Capitol on January 6th was truly an offense worthy of impeachment. That a president would field a mob against his own government was terrible and a very, very sad day for America.

So you are in favor of formally removing Trump from office?

No. I think his offense was bad enough for that, but I don’t see the benefit of going into this major constitutional process now. To do this, one would have to prove that this path is more useful than the variant of simply making Trump disappear. He will soon face criminal investigations anyway. The absolute worst punishment for Trump would be to simply ignore him in the future. Impeachment achieves the opposite.

John Bolton, 72, is a Republican hardliner on foreign and security policy. He served as the UN ambassador under George W. Bush and was a vocal supporter of the Iraq war. He rejected the nuclear deal with Iran and, as Donald Trump’s national security advisor, brought the Americans out of the agreement. About his time in the White House, which ended in September 2019 because of persistent differences with Trump, he wrote the book “The Room Where Everything Happened”.

You have been working in the field of national security for decades. What are the consequences of such an attack, which is broadcast around the world in real time?

It is very damaging to our country. You don’t want to see something like that in a democratic society. It was a catastrophic security failure that needs to be investigated. It also throws a terrible light on Donald Trump that he was part of it – and I don’t think we already know everything about his role. However, I think that it will accelerate his departure as a formative force on the political stage.

Well, even on the night after the attack, two thirds of your party friends in the House of Representatives voted against the confirmation of Joe Biden’s election victory and thus played Trump’s game. Are you ashamed of your party?

Many who voted like this were intimidated by Trump, unnecessarily in my view. My party’s failure came before Trump spreading his claims of a stolen election for weeks despite being rejected by courts across the country. Much more Republicans should have raised their voices. One of the repair jobs for us Republicans now is to make it clear to as many as possible that Trump really lost.

Trump has long since convinced many supporters at the party base of his lie. How much power will he have in the future?

Of the 74 million voters who voted for Trump, more than 90 percent would also have voted for a cardboard comrade set up by the Republican Party. It’s the same on the other side. When he moves from the most powerful room in the world, the Oval Office, to the swimming pool in Mar-a-Lago on January 20th, everything will change. Trump does not have the party in his hands. That makes room for sensible Republicans. We have this proverb in politics here: If sensible politicians do not take care of the needs of the citizens, unreasonable politicians will. This is how you get a Trump.

Aren’t you too optimistic about that? In our last conversation in August, you said that after the election the party would turn away from Trump very quickly. It turned out differently.

Former presidents are yesterday’s news. Trump will have more to do with the investigation into him and with his business and financial problems than with our party. If he leaves office, things will not look good for him personally and financially.

Famous scene from the G7 summit in Canada in 2018: Bolton watches Angela Merkel and Donald Trump. (Source: Jesco Denzel / Federal Government / Getty Images)

The president is said to have enjoyed the excess of violence on television on January 6th. Do these reports match the president you saw up close at the White House?

I think these reports are absolutely credible. In my book I suggested that someone should do a work time study for Trump and compare the times they spend in the Oval Office and in the small dining room next to it, where there is a large TV screen on the wall. In my mind’s eye I can literally see him sitting there and watching the spectacle. He was probably fascinated by the acting. After all, it was all about Donald Trump, and that’s his favorite subject.

Will you ever speak to Donald Trump again?

At least I’m not looking forward to it if we should.


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Let’s look ahead. The new US administration has made it clear that it wants to repair Trump’s damaged relations with its allies in Europe. What will depend on whether this really works?

It would be a mistake if Europe thinks that with Trump’s departure, certain issues will simply disappear. His complaints about trade policy remain relevant, and both sides need to break down trade barriers. Trump’s complaints about NATO and the burden-sharing within the alliance will also remain topical. Germany would make no more friends with the Democrats in Washington than with the Republicans if defense spending was cut back to 1.1 percent of economic output. I would definitely not recommend that. The Germans also have to pay their fair share.

Are you interested in US politics? Washington correspondent Fabian Reinbold writes a newsletter about his impressions from the USA and the change in power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Here you can subscribe to the “Post from Washington” free of charge, which then lands directly in your mailbox once a week.

Will a common strategy for dealing with China be found without Trump?

The Biden government will surprise many Europeans with a confrontational China policy. It won’t be as hard as I would like it to be, but harder than people in Europe think.

How should Germany deal with it?

Angela Merkel suggested to Donald Trump at numerous meetings that they should unite against China where they have similar interests: in the theft of intellectual property and in Beijing’s unfair trade practices. If the opinion of the Americans in the room had been asked at these meetings, we would all have been in favor, with the exception of Trump. While Merkel is still in office, President Biden should propose these joint initiatives again.

Mr Bolton, thank you for talking to us.


Melania Trump sends final message as first lady

The departing first lady has addressed the population with a farewell message. In it she calls on the Americans to unite. Melania Trump does not address an obviously important topic in her video.

Shortly before the end of the term of office of US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump addressed the Americans in a farewell message. “It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as the first lady of the United States of America,” said the 50-year-old on Monday. “The past four years have been unforgettable.” Melania Trump called for caution in the face of the corona pandemic. She also asked to support the “Be Best” initiative she had launched, which is committed to the well-being of children.

You can find the most important statements with German subtitles at the top of the video – or here.

Without further context, the First Lady’s statement said, “Be passionate in everything you do, but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified.” This is likely to allude to the storming of the Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters just under two weeks ago. Critics accuse Trump of inciting his supporters. The Republican must therefore undergo another impeachment process in Congress, which could result in a life ban.

Melania Trump is silent about her husband’s politics

The first lady did not comment on her husband’s policy. She did not praise the outgoing president, his last days in office or the violence at the Capitol directly.

Trump, however, called on the Americans to unite. “Together, as a national family, we can continue to be the light of hope for future generations,” she said. “To all people in this country: you will be in my heart forever.”

Critics accuse her husband of deeply dividing the United States. Donald Trump had tried to overturn Biden’s election victory until the storming of the Capitol. To this day, the Republican sees himself deprived of victory by electoral fraud for which there is no evidence.

Swearing in Biden without Donald Trump

Donald Trump has announced that he will not take part in Biden’s swearing-in on Wednesday afternoon. He is the first president since 1869 to avoid his successor’s inauguration ceremony in front of the Capitol in Washington. The broadcaster CNN reported on Monday that the new President Biden and the new First Lady Jill Biden were, contrary to custom, not welcomed by the Trumps in the White House, but by the head of household staff. Trump also recorded a video message to say goodbye, US media reports said.

According to a CNN poll published on Sunday, the approval ratings for Melania Trump are only 42 percent – the worst figure since she moved into the White House. In the same survey, Donald Trump also recorded its lowest value since taking office with only 33 percent approval.


Trump prepares a wave of pardons on the last day. Is he on the list?

On the last day in office, January 19, 2017, President Barack Obama pardoned or commuted the sentence to a record 330 people (out of a total of 1927 over his two terms). In his last hours at the White House, Donald Trump, who has so far forgiven 94 people (had a personal or political connection with 84 of them), will be planning to issue more than 100 pardons. But you are being advised to leave one name off the list: yours.

According to the The Washington Post and CNN, Trump met on Sunday with daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with other advisers, to decide the final list. In the past few days, the president has been considering the idea of ​​issuing preventive pardons on his behalf, that of his children and his closest allies. But several advisers have warned Trump that forgiving himself (something whose constitutionality divides the experts) would make him look guilty, especially now that he is being accused of inciting the Capitol invasion.. This could irritate Republican senators who are preparing to try impeachment.

Regarding the legality of a pardon in your name, there are constitutionalists who say it is not possible, since it violates the principle that no one can be the judge in your own case. However, there are those who say that presidential pardon is quite vague in the Constitution, remembering that the founding fathers discussed the hypothesis of self-forgiveness in the 18th century, having chosen not to include an explicit limitation on that presidential power.

There was only one president to receive a pardon in the US: a month after resigning, Richard Nixon obtained the pardon of his former vice president, Gerald Ford., covering all possible crimes committed during his administration, marked by the Watergate scandal.

Who could be on the list?

Regarding the first 94 pardons, the Lawfare blog (a collaboration of the institute of the same name with the Brookings Institution) concluded that “the clemency system is dominated by privileged access to the president and serves almost exclusively his personal and political goals and whims”. According to the same source, only nine of those who have already benefited were not directly linked to Trump or someone close to him and the vast majority were not recommended by the Department of Justice (as usual).

Many of those the president forgave were involved in the investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, over the alleged conspiracy of his campaign with Russia. Among them were former campaign director Paul Manafort, friend and adviser Roger Stone and former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to the FBI. The son-in-law’s father, Charles Kushner, who served time for tax evasion and illegal campaign donations, was also pardoned.


Moving to Florida: Why Trump’s Neighbors Want To Evict Him From Palm Beach

Vhe residents of the island of Palm Beach and the neighboring city of West Palm Beach receive the prominent residents with a cold shoulder at best. Neighbors have been mobilizing against Trump for weeks, contesting his right to live on the property that he himself had once converted into a “private club”. The county is questioning Trump’s lease of the nearby golf club. With the storming of the Capitol by his supporters, fueled by Trump, the anger about the future island resident Trump has increased. Of all people, Alex Berrios, 41, Vice President of the Democrats in West Palm Beach, can see something positive about the arrival of the elected president.


Gb: Trump’s puppet-mockery enters London – Europe museum collection

Donald Trump has earned his piece of history, at least in a British museum; but it’s not exactly a tribute to the outgoing White House leader who split America in half. The Museum of London is in fact preparing to exhibit the gigantic inflatable puppet, which depicts him in the role of a spoiled, angry and capricious baby and who was raised in the skies of the capital of the Kingdom on the occasion of the events promoted to protest against the “red carpet” lying at the feet of the American president-tycoon during his official visit organized by the Tory government then led by Theresa May.

A space has been reserved for the mocking puppet, a 6 meter high balloon, in the sector that collects objects and souvenirs of some of the great square gatherings that have taken place in London over the decades. Sharon Ament, director of the city museum, said she sees the inflatable ‘baby-Trump’ as a symbol “of the wave of feelings that fueled a moment of resistance” and added that she hopes that displaying it will help “to reflect on. reasons that led many Londoners to oppose Trump’s instigations “and” on ways to continue the battle against the politics of hatred “.

In the name of half a level playing field, the management of the Museum of London has made it known that it is now also “in contact” with the rights holders on another sarcastic effigy of the opposite sign: the one conceived by a group of supporters Brits of Trump to make fun of the current Labor Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, protagonist of repeated controversies with The Donald, in response to the demonstrations against the 2019 visit to which Khan gave his explicit support. (HANDLE).