Former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview published Monday that John Bolton, the hawkish former U.N. ambassador President Donald Trump recently picked to be his next national security adviser, would be “a disaster for our country.”
In an interview with USA Today, Carter said he was “very must distressed,” at the news that current National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster would leave that role on April 9th. Trump announced the change in a tweet Thursday.
“And particularly with the choice of his replacement,” Carter continued.
“I think John Bolton is a disaster for our country,” he said. “Maybe one of the worst mistakes that President Trump has made since he’s been in office is the employment of John Bolton, who has been advocating a war with North Korea for a long time and even promoting an attack on Iran, and who has been one of the leading figures on orchestrating the decision to invade Iraq.”
“So he’s a warlike figure and I’m just afraid that his influence on President Trump will be deleterious for our country.”
Asked by USA Today’s Washington bureau chief, Susan Page, what advice he’d have for Trump in his dealings with North Korea, Carter hammered the point home.
“You mean other than fire John Bolton?” he asked. “That would be my first advice.”
Carter separately told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell on Monday, in an interview set to air Tuesday, that Trump’s choice of Bolton as his top national security adviser “was very ill-advised.”
“I think John Bolton has been the worst mistake he’s made,” he said.