John Bolton: Trump second term would cause "irreparable damage"

2 October 2020, 08:28 | Updated: 2 October 2020, 09:57

By Maddie Goodfellow

Donald Trump's former National Security Advisor John Bolton has told LBC that if the President wins a second term, it would cause "irreparable damage" to the United States.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, John Bolton covered topics including Tuesday's presidential debate, who he will vote for in the election and what a second Trump term could mean for the US.

Seasoned Republican figure Mr Bolton served as the 25th United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006 and as the 27th United States National Security Advisor from 2018 to 2019 under President Trump.

However, he infamously departed the Trump administration on September 10 2019 following a series of disagreements with the President.

He also wrote a best-selling book about his tenure in the Trump administration, 'The Room Where It Happened', published in June 2020.

Mr Bolton gave Nick his account of the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump, branding it "really awful to watch".

"The debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden has been characterised as the worst presidential debate since they began in 1960," he said.

"It was hardly a debate at all. It was not much of an advertisement for free speech and democratic society.

I really think it represents a missed opportunity for Trump to try and make his case more effectively, but Biden dodged a big trap and dispelled the Trump notion that he is not mentally fit to hold office.

"So in that sense, I think Biden comes out modestly ahead but honestly, it was really awful to watch."

It would cause "irreparable damage" if Trump won a second presidential term, Mr Bolton told Nick
It would cause "irreparable damage" if Trump won a second presidential term, Mr Bolton told Nick. Picture: PA/LBC

Nick also questioned Mr Bolton on his reaction to Donald Trump's refusal to condemn white supremacists during the first presidential debate.

On Tuesday night, debate moderator Chris Wallace asked whether the president would condemn white supremacists and tell them to stand down during protests.

Mr Trump replied: "Sure, I'm willing to... but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing.

"Proud Boys - stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what... Somebody's got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem."

The Ambassador explained: "This is a problem he always has, I think it was a mistake on his part."

"It's not the right way to win, he's missed a lot of opportunities in this campaign.

"But he will run his campaign all about Donald Trump, as he does with everything in his life, and I hope he gets the outcome he deserves."

However, Mr Bolton refuted claims that Trump is a racist or a fascist, saying: "I think that would require the ability to string coherent thoughts about politics, which he just doesn't have."

Ambassador John Bolton's White House memoir, The Room Where It Happened, details his 453 days working with Trump
Ambassador John Bolton's White House memoir, The Room Where It Happened, details his 453 days working with Trump. Picture: PA

The Ambassador later revealed that this is the first time in his life he is not going to vote for the Republican nominee for president.

He explained: "I'm not going to vote for Trump obviously, but I'm not going to vote for Biden either. I'm going to be unhappy with the outcome of this election either way.

"I'm going to write in the name of another Conservative Republican.

Pressed by Nick on who it could be, Mr Bolton joked: "Well I was thinking of Ronald Reagan if he's available!"

Mr Bolton also spoke out against the president's claims that he will not accept the result of the election and may refuse to leave the White House if Biden wins.

"That was the most troubling aspect of what happened on Tuesday night," Mr Bolton admitted.

"Any president running for re-election is entitled obviously to campaign but I think Trump by calling into question the election process as a whole and calling into question what he would do come November 3 is very damaging to public faith in institutions.

"It's something more Republican officeholders need to speak out about, it's not acceptable from a president."

He also asserted that Donald Trump has "done damage to the party and to the United States at home and abroad."

"I think it will do damage to the party as a whole. The party is now wrapped around his personality.

"It used to be in American politics, and it will be again once Trump leaves, that the American public look for a candidate that agrees with their views.

"Under Trump, it's whether you agree with Trump or not, even though Trump himself doesn't have a philosophy or follow lines of policy.

"I think that's very disturbing and that needs to be corrected. People internationally have to understand that Trump is an anomaly, he does not reflect the body politic of the US.

"In some respects, I'm saying hold your breath, we'll be back."

Nick then questioned the ambassador over why he had ever served under Trump and when he realised it would be a "bumpy ride".

"I think in the first week I was there, we faced a response to the Assad regime and the use of chemical weapons in Syria. In a week of decision making, we decided to retaliate joined by Britain and France. '"But it was not like decision making I had witnessed under any other Republican president.

"That worried me enormously because I did not think we had necessarily made the right decision and the process we followed was 'like living inside a pinball machine'.

He continued: "I think the president has a sense of low cunning, based on his own re-election, so if he wins there is no telling what his new focus will be.

"He operates on the basis of instinct and the personalities he surrounds himself with. He does not operate on the basis of facts, research of analysis in any conventionally understood way."

Nick then questioned Mr Bolton over Trump's view is of the UK, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

"Well he didn't like Theresa May, and I think the feeling was mutual.

"One of Trump's biggest problems is he sees no difference between the personal and political relationships he has with the leader of a foreign nation.

"I think his relations with Boris Johnson are better. He is able to grit his teeth and put up with Trump."

Watch the full interesting and insightful interview at the top of the page.