President Donald Trump told reporters gathered at the White House Wednesday that now-ousted National Security Adviser John Bolton was a ‘disaster’ on policy related to North Korea, stepped out of line when it came to Venezuela, and had trouble getting along with other administration officials Trump considered invaluable.
Trump was particularly annoyed with Bolton for offending Kim Jong Un with a suggestion that the North Korean leader follow a “Libyan model” of negotiation by turning over his nukes.
“We were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the Libyan model … what a disaster,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“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.”
Trump also expressed frustration with the fact that Nicolas Maduro continues to hold on in Venezuela and wasn’t responding to the sanctions and pressure strategy the U.S. was employing. Bolton was said to be a major purveyor of that strategy.
Bolton was also said to be a hard liner when it came to Iran and some reports are indicating Trump is “flirting” with lifting sanctions on Iran or backing a French plan to pay them to come back into compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal.