John Bolton Reveals How Little Donald Trump Actually Knew About Russia
Trump “barely knew where Ukraine was” and once asked if Finland was part of Russia, Bolton told Newsmax host Rob Schmitt on Tuesday.
Bolton recalled Trump’s stunning lack of knowledge while countering Schmitt’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not invade Ukraine during Trump’s presidency because Trump took a “very tough stance” on the country.
“There is something to be said, though, about the simple fact that there was not aggression during the four years,” Schmitt told Bolton. “I mean, you were part of that administration as well and there was not aggression from Russia, and they waited him out, it seems, and made a move.”
Trump “did not” take a tough stance on Russia, responded Bolton.
The Trump White House had sanctioned Russia, he continued, but “in almost every case” the restrictions were imposed “with Trump complaining about it, saying we were being too hard.”
“The fact is that he barely knew where Ukraine was. He once asked John Kelly, his second chief of staff, if Finland were a part of Russia,” Bolton added. “It is just not accurate to say that Trump’s behavior somehow deterred the Russians. I think the evidence is that Russia didn’t feel that their military was ready.”
Bolton failed to speak out against Trump during the 17 months he served in his administration, even remaining silent during Trump’s first impeachment for misconduct in the Ukraine scandal, only to pen a critical memoir of the former president which the Department of Justice attempted to block.