John Bolton Says Authoritarian Leaders Are ‘Fully Prepared To Take Advantage’ Of Trump

John Bolton, who served as national security adviser under Donald Trump, on Tuesday warned that authoritarian leaders around the world would welcome a second Trump term, adding that the former president is an “easy mark” for them.

Bolton said that Trump was “fortunate” to not confront major international crises, other than the COVID-19 pandemic, during his time in office, and argued that Trump would be unfit to handle the challenges facing the present administration, amid the ongoing wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

“When you’re in a crisis you need a president who is resolute, who can keep his eye on the prize and worry about our national security, not his own image,” Bolton said on CNN’s “The Source.”

Bolton, a frequent critic of Trump, added that his former boss lacks the skills to take on major decisions around national security.

“His attention span is short. He doesn’t know much about world history or world affairs,” Bolton said. “He actually doesn’t think they matter very much. He thinks his personal relationships with foreign leaders, especially the authoritarian ones, are all that matter.”

Yet, the former United Nations ambassador said, Trump’s “self-absorption” makes it nearly impossible for him to understand how his foreign counterparts see him.

“I don’t think they are really friendly with Donald Trump,” Bolton said, naming the leaders of China, Russia and North Korea as examples. “I think they think — Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and others — they think he’s a laughing fool. And they’re fully prepared to take advantage of him.”

He added, “I think they believe he’s an easy mark.”

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden recently told his supporters in South Carolina that many international leaders, presumably U.S. allies, are anxious about the prospect of a second Trump presidency.

“I know every one of those heads of state, and I’ve known them for a while,” Biden said over the weekend. “Every meeting I go to internationally, I — as they’re walking out, this is the God’s truth … virtually every one of them pulls me aside and says: ‘You’ve got to win. We can’t let that happen again. You can’t let that happen again.’”

Trump, however, appears to be cruising to the Republican presidential nomination, amassing endorsements from various members of his party.

He leads Nikki Haley, another former ambassador to the United Nations, by over 30 points in her home state of South Carolina ahead of its Feb. 24 primary, according to polling analyzed by FiveThirtyEight.



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