John Bolton believes 'Russians would already be in Kyiv' if Trump were still in office

John Bolton believes 'Russians would already be in Kyiv' if Trump were still in office
White House National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton talks to reporters Wednesday, May 1, 2019, outside the West Wing entrance of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)
John Bolton's new book focuses largely on his own relevance — or lack thereof

Ex-White House national security advisor John Bolton recently offered his take on what a second Trump term might have looked like for Ukraine.

Speaking to Newsweek, Bolton said that he believes if former President Donald Trump had won a second term, it might have led to him circulating more disturbing conspiracy theories along the lies of the ones "that poisoned his administration's ties with Kyiv and led to his first of two impeachments."

"I think he would have given Ukraine away, basically," Bolton said during the Newsweek interview. "Until they turn over that Democratic National Committee server and find out what Hunter Biden was doing in Ukraine, Ukraine was going to fend for itself."

Bolton added, "And you can see that with some of the Trumpsters these days, Tucker Carlson and people like that."

Amid far-right concerns about Ukraine, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been at the helm of the political party's skepticism. During his late-night segments, he has downplayed Kyiv describing it as "strategically irrelevant" to the United States. He's also criticized the White House "for alleged warmongering with Russia."

"I think in a second Trump term, the Russians would already be in Kyiv," Bolton said.

Bolton's latest remarks follow Trump's call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. At the time, Trump asked Zelnskyy if "his Ukrainian counterpart 'to do us a favor' and 'find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike...I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it.'"

Trump added, "The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me."

According to Bolton, the Biden administration may not be showing the proper resolve regarding Ukraine. "I don't think Putin believes the threat of post-facto sanctions after he invades," Bolton said. "I don't think he's made a decision to use military force yet. I think he's still calculating the cost-benefit logic here.

"There's a lot of reporting now on sending or making ready American troops and NATO countries in the region—in Romania, in the Baltics and Poland. All which I think is fine. I agree with it," Bolton said. "But they're not going to Ukraine, and I don't think they deter. I think they reassure the NATO allies, which is an important thing to do. But I don't think it has any effect on Putin's calculus on Ukraine."

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