Bolton: ‘Incomprehensible’ For Trump To Throw Rallies Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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June 24, 2020 6:45 p.m.
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Former national security adviser John Bolton isn’t done throwing President Trump under the bus, especially when it comes to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bolton — who has faced backlash from President Trump and former administration officials over his damning tell-all book — was asked whether there is a link between a claim in his book that Trump is driven by political calculations, and his recent insistence to slow down testing on the coronavirus.

“I am afraid that is true. I think the American people are chafing under the restrictions, but at the same time they are afraid if they don’t follow the restrictions the pandemic will break out again,” Bolton said.

Bolton argued that it is “incomprehensible” to him that the President would risk holding his rallies in Tulsa and Arizona amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is endangering people. And there is no need for it,” Bolton said. “I think you need strong, stable, persistent leadership at a time like this. I don’t think that’s what we’re seeing.”

Asked whether he believes that the President would actually try to slow down testing on the coronavirus based on his experience as his national security adviser for about 17 months, Bolton replied that “it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.”

“I think he is driven kind of day-to-day, almost hour-to-hour by his perception of how he is perceived and duplicative but he is worried about how the people see him,” Bolton said. “He is not so worried about what he is actually doing.”

Bolton went on to argue that Trump “needs to get a focus on understanding the nature of this threat.”

“He stopped the meetings of the coronavirus task force,” Bolton said. “He is understandably concerned about getting the economy moving again, but you’ve got to try and ride both of these things at the same time.”

Watch Bolton’s remarks below:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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