Bolton says North Korea’s Kim laughing at US president

National security adviser John Bolton listens as US President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US, on April 9, 2018. Bolton, who was fired in September, has written a tell-all memoir that is extremely critical of his former boss
National security adviser John Bolton listens as US President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US, on April 9, 2018. Bolton, who was fired in September, has written a tell-all memoir that is extremely critical of his former boss
Image: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS

Former US national security adviser John Bolton says he thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong- un “gets a huge laugh” over US counterpart Donald Trump’s perception of their relationship.

Bolton spoke to ABC News on Sunday for his first interview ahead of the Tuesday release of his tell-all book, which contains many damning allegations against Trump.

When journalist Martha Raddatz asked if Trump “really believes Kim Jong-un loves him,” Bolton replied he could see no other explanation.

“I think Kim Jong-un gets a huge laugh out of this,” Bolton said.

“These letters that the president has shown to the press ... are written by some functionary in the North Korean Workers Party agitprop office.

“And yet, the president has looked at them as evidence of this deep friendship,” he said, adding that friendship did not amount to international diplomacy.

Bolton also said he did not consider Trump to be fit for office and hoped he was a one-term president.

“I hope [history] will remember him as a one-term president who didn’t plunge the country irretrievably into a downward spiral we can’t recall from.

“We can get over one term,” he said.

Bolton added that he would vote for neither Trump nor Democrat Joe Biden in the November presidential elections.

Instead, he would “figure out a conservative Republican to write in” on the ballot.

Trump’s administration had sought to halt publication of Bolton’s book, but a US judge refused on Saturday to block its release, saying it was too late for a restraining order.

The Room Where it Happened is Bolton’s portrait of 17 months up close with Trump until he was fired  in September.

In his interview, Bolton said he had resigned, noting that the “last straw” for him was when Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David during Afghan peace negotiations.

Bolton’s book, which Trump describes as “fiction,” describes the president “pleading” with Chinese President Xi Jinping during trade negotiations to boost the US president’s chances of re-election.

Moreover, Bolton backs up the allegations at the centre of Trump’s impeachment in 2019 that he pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt to weaken Biden’s presidential bid.

Both Republican and Democratic legislators have criticised Bolton for publishing his book, saying he should have instead come forward during the impeachment process.

The House Intelligence Committee chair, Democrat Adam Schiff, told NBC’s Meet the Press earlier on Sunday that Bolton “indicts himself, for cowardice and for greed” by making his accusations in a book instead of testifying in front of the impeachment hearings.

Republican senator Tim Scott told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that he also wished Bolton “would have come into the House under oath and testified”. — AFP

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