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John Bolton Denies in CNN Interview That Trump Is a Racist, Says He Instead Suffers from Racial ‘Insensitivity’

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton denied that President Donald Trump was a racist in a CNN interview, but said that his former boss suffered from racial “insensitivity.”

During his conversation with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room, the former Trump White House staffer addressed the nationwide unrest and protests over racial injustice and Trump’s recent racist comments, like calling the Covid-19 virus the “Kung flu.” In a New York Times/Siena poll released on Wednesday, registered voters disapproved of Trump’s handling of race issues by a nearly two-to-one margin, 61 percent to 33 percent.

“The president seems to be doubling down though on some racist rhetoric using phrases like “Kung flu,” for example, using inflammatory videos that promote racist stereotypes. Does he see deepening the racial divide right now as a potential re-election ticket?” Blitzer asked.

“I don’t know what he thinks he is doing, quite honestly,” Bolton said. “I think there is a lot of hyperbole on both sides of this issue. I think people need to calm down and take a deep breath. I think there is a responsibility for the President of the United States to say: ‘Look, we’ve got difficulties here in the country that need to be resolved.’ I don’t agree with much of what the demonstrators are saying about systematic racism in the United States. This is not the same situation we faced in the 1960s. There’s been significant improvement. I don’t dispute there is more that is needed.”

Blitzer then focused on a passage in Bolton’s book in which Trump reportedly wanted to offer asylum to white South Africans that he bizarrely claimed were being stripped of their land and targeted for widespread killing, incendiary remarks which fact-checkers dismissed as false.

“I don’t see any evidence that is true,” Bolton said of the president’s absurd remarks. “To me it was an example of how the president gets information from friends and colleagues outside the government that becomes the basis for his recommendations and policy not checked out through the process we have to verify what is actual fact and what’s not. That is the sort of erratic decision making that I think leaves the country in jeopardy.”

“Based on everything you saw, multiple conversations you had with the president, all sorts of issues, do you believe he is a racist?” Blitzer asked, point blank.

“I don’t see that in his comments, I think he could be accused of insensitivity. I think we all could be accused of insensitivity,” Bolton said. “I want to get beyond racial characterization. I think Martin Luther King hit it on the head: It is the content of every individual’s character. William F. Buckley Jr. once said I believe every individual is different from every other individual in every conceivable way. And that’s how I think we ought to look at people.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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