Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He explained why he had to fire John Bolton.

Yesterday, Trump claimed that he had fired John Bolton, something that is true at least insofar as Bolton is no longer Trump's national security advisor.

Today, pressed by reporters to explain, Trump first pointed to Bolton's role in pushing for a war with Iraq during the George W. Bush administration. (Trump, presumably, knew about that when he hired Bolton in the first place.) But then he said this:

But we were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the Libyan model. And he made a mistake. And as soon as he mentioned that, the "Libyan model," what a disaster. Take a look at what happened to Gaddafi, with the Libyan model. And he's using that to make a deal with North Korea?  
And I don’t blame Kim Jong-un for what he said after that. And he wanted nothing to do with John Bolton. And that's not a question of being tough; that's a question of being not smart, to say something like that.

In other words, Trump is saying that he fired his own national security advisor because he thought North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un didn't like him.

Trump seems to think that by the "Libyan model," Bolton was suggesting that Kim should be murdered, as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was when a civil war swept him from office.

In reality, Bolton did something different, but almost as "bad" from Trump's perspective. When Bolton used that term on a Fox News interview shortly after he became Trump's national security advisor, he was talking about the practice of committing to a specific plan for denuclearization before the United States would make concessions.

The White House quickly backtracked from those seemingly straightforward comments. A month later, it became clear why, when Trump gave the Kim regime a stunning diplomatic and strategic victory by signing an agreement that required no specific action by North Korea, while the United States made military concessions up front.

How is this a bad thing?

  • Nuclear-armed dictators of enemy nations shouldn't have any influence over who is on the staff of the President of the United States.