John Bolton, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, harshly criticized the foreign policy of his former boss and said that, if re-elected in 2020, he could withdraw from NATO and other multilateral institutions, NBC News reported today.
In a private address to investment firm Morgan Stanley last week, Bolton also said Trump’s stance on Turkey could be guided by personal or business interests because it doesn’t fit the advice of any of his advisers, added NBC News, which quotes six attendees at the event in Miami.
Trump fired Bolton two months ago after a long period of misunderstanding on key issues such as Venezuela and North Korea, and the former national security adviser is now writing a book and engaging in litigation to determine whether he will participate in the investigation prior to an impeachment trial against the president.
One of the attendees at the private event asked him what would happen if Trump wins a second term, and Bolton responded that the president could follow his isolationist instincts even more, heed the advice of Republican Senator Rand Paul and withdraw from NATO and other international alliances, according to NBC News.
Although Trump has complained since coming to power that the country spends too much on NATO and at the beginning of his term avoided reaffirming its commitment to the principle of members’ mutual defence, in the last year he has relaxed his rhetoric and will attend the Atlantic Alliance summit in London in December.
After that warning, however, Bolton felt that there is also a possibility that Trump might take a different route and rely more on the advice of his family’s advisers, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared.
In a derogatory tone, Bolton said Trump’s daughter and son-in-law are eager to show their social circles in New York that they have influence in the White House, and ventured that they would even be able to convince the president to nominate a progressive figure to the Supreme Court if he had the chance.
Bolton was especially vicious about Trump’s policy toward Turkey, insinuating that his policy toward that country is guided by the personal interests of the former real estate magnate, whose business organization owns property in Istanbul.
He also described as unreasonable Trump’s objection to imposing sanctions on Turkey after Ankara decided to buy the Russian-made S-400 anti-missile system, which is incompatible with NATO.
These statements come out the day before Trump receives Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House after controversy over Ankara’s invasion of northeast Syria and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the area.