John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, criticized his old boss over the administration’s misguided “rhetorical policy” toward North Korea along with its failure to exert “maximum pressure” during the high-stakes nuclear talks.
Bolton’s comments, which were published late Sunday on Axios, come at a precarious time between Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. What once showed glimpses of an unlikely and historic foreign policy victory for Trump, now appears to be teetering on the brink of collapse.
Bolton said he doesn’t believe the administration “really means it” when they talk about stopping North Korea’s nuclear ambition. He said if they did they would “pursue a different course.”
U.S. officials on Sunday were on high alert due to a possible North Korean missile launch that has been menacingly referred to by Pyongyang as a “Christmas gift.” Bolton said in the interview that if Kim makes good on the threat and launches a missile the White House should do something “that would be very unusual” and admit that they were wrong.