'He barely knew where Ukraine was': John Bolton educates Newsmax host who claimed Trump was 'very tough' on Putin

'He barely knew where Ukraine was': John Bolton educates Newsmax host who claimed Trump was 'very tough' on Putin
Image via Screengrab.

Newsmax’s efforts to outdo Fox News in praising former President Donald Trump were painfully evident when former National Security Adviser John Bolton made a February 28 appearance on the right-wing cable news channel.

With Ukraine now facing a brutal invasion by Russian troops, Newsmax host Rob Schmitt mindlessly echoed the MAGA talking point that President Vladimir Putin wouldn’t have ordered an invasion of Ukraine if Trump were still president of the United States. The words “Trump was tough on Russia” appeared on the screen, but the ultra-hawkish Bolton wasn’t buying it and reminded Schmitt that Trump, as president, complained bitterly about sanctions against Russia.

Bolton, sounding frustrated, told Schmitt, “In almost every case, the sanctions were imposed with Trump complaining about it, saying we were being too hard. The fact is, he barely knew where Ukraine was. He once asked John Kelly, his second chief of staff, if Finland were part of Russia. It’s just not accurate to say that Trump’s behavior somehow deterred the Russians.”

Bolton totally disagreed with Schmitt that Trump had a “very tough stance against Russia,” lamenting that Trump was “not fit to be president.”

As president, Trump repeatedly bashed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while expressing his respect and admiration for Putin. The late Sen. John McCain of Arizona, after Trump’s meeting with Putin at the Helsinki Summit in July 2018, angrily complained, “President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling, to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.”

When Trump chose Bolton as his national security adviser, it was an unlikely pick — as Trump’s paleoconservative views were greatly influenced by Patrick Buchanan and Bolton was the ultimate neocon war hawk. Trump obviously chose Bolton as a way of thumbing his nose at liberals, but eventually, the Trump/Bolton relationship went sour in a big way — and Trump fired Bolton. Since leaving Trump’s administration, Bolton has been a scathing critic of Trump’s foreign policy.

In his 2020 book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” Bolton reveals that Trump wanted the U.S. to leave NATO in 2018 but that he vehemently argued against that. Biden has also had a lot to say about Trump and NATO.

In 2020, Biden slammed Trump for his anti-NATO views and campaigned on revitalizing the United States’ relationship with its European NATO allies — a relationship that Trump, according to Biden, went out of his way to undermine.

Trump, in recent weeks, has drawn widespread criticism from Democrats as well as Never Trump conservatives for praising Putin as “savvy” and a “genius.”

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