Former national security adviser John Bolton responded to his critics Wednesday after admitting on CNN that he has helped organize coups d’état in other countries.
Bolton was being interviewed on Newsmax when anchor Bianca de la Garza asked him about his controversial statement.
“I do have to ask you also, your comment yesterday on CNN about coups and orchestrating them. It’s getting a lot of play, as you know. What would you like to say to that? Obviously, the U.S. is a world superpower, and were you surprised that some of the pick-up there was about, you know, your talk? Obviously, you’ve written about Venezuela a lot in your book,” de la Garza said.
“Well, I think there are a lot of snowflakes out there that don’t understand what you need to do to protect the United States,” Bolton answered, refusing to back down in the face of criticism.
“I’m not going to get into specifics. I did write about Venezuela in my memoir. And I think that any president that’s not willing to do what it takes to protect the interests of the American people, it needs to have some, some counseling,” he said.
On Tuesday, Bolton sent shockwaves through the media when he let slip that he’s helped plan the fall of foreign governments in the past during a conversation about the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Bolton told CNN’s Jake Tapper it was a “mistake” to believe that the Capitol riot “was a carefully planned coup d’état aimed at the Constitution.”
“That’s not the way Donald Trump does things. It’s rambling from one half-vast idea to another. One plan that falls through and another comes up. That’s what he was doing,” Bolton said.
When Tapper pushed back and asserted “one doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup,” Bolton strongly disagreed and cited his firsthand experience doing so.
“As somebody who has helped plan coups d’état — not here, but other places — it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what [Trump] did. It was just stumbling around from one idea to another,” Bolton said.
It was a shocking admission from a former high-level government official who served in four presidential administrations.
Bolton served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security during the George W. Bush administration form 2001-2005. He then served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006. He was called back into the government during the Trump administration to serve as President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor from 2018-2019, before leaving after several heated policy disagreements with the president.