Trump: ‘Mr. Tough Guy’ Bolton made ‘very big mistakes’ before being fired , President Trump said Wednesday that he fired John Bolton because his national security adviser “made some very big mistakes”
“John is somebody that I actually get along with very well. He made some very big mistakes when he talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong Un,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, after announcing the administration would seek to prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
“That was not a good statement to make. You just take a look at what happened with Gadhafi. That was not a good statement to make. And it set us back.”Trump was referring to a remark by Bolton nearly a year and a half ago,
Describing Libya as a model for the denuclearization of North Korea. Moammar Gadhafi, the longtime Libyan dictator, agreed to give up his nuclear-weapons program in 2003 in exchange for the lifting of U.S.
Economic sanctions. Eight years later, Gadhafi was overthrown and killed by rebels, who were supported by NATO airstrikes. Foreign-policy experts believed Bolton’s statement was counterproductive to Trump’s goal of reaching an agreement with Kim.
Citing administration officials, several media outlets reported this week that tensions between Trump and Bolton came to a head over the president’s invitation to Taliban representatives to peace negotiations at Camp David.
That meeting, had Trump not canceled it at the last minute, would have taken place this week, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,
On Wednesday the president said Bolton “wasn’t getting along” with other administration officials and brought up Bolton’s role in supporting the invasion of Iraq under President George W. Bush an invasion Trump has described as a mistake (although also, at times, as a good idea).