John Bolton's interview with ABC: "I don't think he has the competence to carry out the job."

Originally published at:


Then why did you take a job with him in the first place…?


Maybe he thought he could play Trump? He wouldn’t be the first smart person to make this stupid mistake.


He wouldn’t have been paid for his testimony in front of Congress! I know a person who worked with him years ago and she said he is one of the most loathsome people she ever encountered.

He joined the Maryland guard to avoid going to Vietnam (he admitted this), yet he had no problem sending troops to die in Iraq. Maybe he thinks criticizing Trump will make him look good by comparison. Just remember, no matter how bad Trump is, Bolton is still a war-mongering, anti-Muslim bigot who has no problem sacrificing young American lives for his personal gain. I would doubt whether anything in the book is true.


Takes one to know one I suppose


I suspect they all thought he’d be easy to control and contain. But literally nothing about Trump was a surprise. It was all there from day one. Anyone who thinks “let’s support an incompetent, racist, asshole as the president” clearly doesn’t care about anything about the American and global public. All these people who gleefully jumped on his bandwagon are now panicking because of how truly terrible and pathetic he is. I hope this means they are all out of public service/public coffers from now on, but they’ll all manage to come out looking like heroes… It’s frustrating.


A chance to start that war in Iran like he always wants to do and he is an evil opportunistic rat fucker.


i am giving this book and press tour a pass as i don’t want to waste any time on Bolton. he is a sack of shit. but i am enjoying how much his book is making the white house squirm.


I had the feeling that Bolton only published this book because Trump didn’t go along with his idea to nuke Iran.


NOW he tells us! If we only knew this in 2016!
slaps forehead


Queue Arya Stark voice:



“I don’t think he’s fit for office. I don’t think he has the competence to carry out the job.”

Those are the kinds of things you’d say if you didn’t really have any evidence for your statement. “I think”… But he has first hand knowledge of his incompetence, so surely, “He’s not fit for office… he doesn’t have the competence to carry out the job” would be more appropriate statements. I mean, I feel pretty confident making that assertion just based on my view from outside the administration, watching Trump fail.

Just the excerpts I’ve seen from the book made that pretty clear to me. He details Trump committing what he views as a crime and follows it with a statement about how that was one of many reasons why he resigned from the administration. He talks about Trump being incompetent, about Trump committing numerous acts Bolton doesn’t view as legal, but there’s still some other reason why he finally quits. The unspoken other reason can’t be anything other than, “And he didn’t do what I told him to do.” (Which he’s also clearly not happy with.)

Except maybe Bolton. He’s so desperate to blame the Democrats for why he didn’t do the right thing when it would have counted, that it seems to be having the opposite of the intended effect - it focuses attention on his silence and inaction and drops the responsibility right back on his lap. At least, that’s been the response of every reviewer I’ve seen, every commentator talking about the book. He seems to have really damned himself, almost as much as Trump, with this.


I have no trouble believing it’s all true, but that Bolton thinks it still shows him in a good light. The guy will never hold a senior position ever again, because A) he worked for Trump and B) he betrayed Trump. So he loses both ways. But this is his nest-egg. He’ll probably make a fortune, if that’s really a comfort to him.


You get your one of a kind dream job and maybe you take it regardless of who the current boss is. I know I’d probably jump in.

Regardless Bolton and Trump deserve each other they are both terrible in their own rights.

1 Like

Ah… so I can get a tenured history professorship, only if I support Hitler… Fuck no. My integrity isn’t worth that cost.


That sounds about right.


I don’t know you, but I would like to gently question your suggestion that you would jump in. If you knew the current boss is an insane, back-stabbing, rambling megalomaniac with no moral compass nor understanding of any of the subjects required to carry out the job, and you knew that if/when a different boss took over, you would likely be ousted, would you really jump in? Would this still really be your dream job?


Trump’s whole selling point in 2016 was that you don’t need any particular competence to be President. That countered HRC’s claim that she was so very, very competent. Trump’s pitch was that, just by being white and rich, he had all the “competence” he needed – that it was all sort of intuitive.

This hooks into the current redefinition of the word “elite” that the right is pitching – that money doesn’t make you elite, education does. So a $40k/yr assoc prof in History is elite, but a $240k/yr owner of a earth-moving machine rental company who has no college degree is not – even if the latter plays golf with his state senator.

Let’s not forget that this definition of elite was also espoused by the Khmer Rouge. If you so much as wore glasses in Cambodia, you could be taken to a reeducation camp.


His refusal to testify during the impeachment hearings has probably tanked his book sales. I mean, he had an opportunity for free publicity and a chance to show people that perhaps he wasn’t as loathsome as we thought, and he turned it down.

Seriously, I don’t know what he was thinking. The MAGA people who would have been angry about his testimony won’t buy the book anyway, and the interviews he’s doing now are going to piss them off anyway. He may be trying to keep open the possibility that he can be in the next Republican administration, but regardless of election results in November that’s not going to be until 2025 at the earliest. He’ll be 76 then.

I don’t think it’s possible for him to kick enough puppies to get back into favor again.


I have heard of legal cases where preceding an insult or accusation with “I think” is more legally defensible.