John Bolton Scolds Newsmax Host Defending Trump’s Ukraine Policies: ‘Barely Knew Where Ukraine Was’
Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton corrected and scolded Newsmax host Rob Schmitt on Monday evening over the assertion that Vladimir Putin didn’t invade Ukraine while Donald Trump was president because his administration was “very tough” on Russia.
Schmitt’s premise was that Trump had been incredibly tough on Russia and Putin only made a move now that Joe Biden is in office. To support the claim, he offered a list of steps he said were taken during Trump’s term. This included bullets like “sanctioned Nord Stream 2” and “sanctioned oligarchs close to Putin.”
“There is something to be said, though, about the simple fact that there was not aggression during the four years,” said the host of Rob Schmitt Tonight. “I mean, you were part of that administration as well and there was not aggression from Russia, and they waited him out, it seems, and made a move.”
He read through the list, ending with, “in 2018, he looked NATO members in the eye and talked about the reliance on Russian energy by Europe and how horrible that was.
“I mean, he took a very tough stance against Russia,” said Schmitt. “I’m surprised you don’t think that he would have handled this better than Joe Biden.”
“No he didn’t,” Bolton interjected after Schmitt’s claim that Trump took a tough stance. “He did not.”
“We didn’t sanction Nord Stream 2,” he continued. “We should have.”
Nord Stream 2 is an inoperable gas pipeline that was supposed to go from Russia to Germany. The Biden administration announced last week it would sanction the pipeline in retaliation to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. Germany announced last week that the certification of Nord Stream 2 would be halted.
Bolton said Trump “should have” sanctioned Nord Stream 2 and “brought the project to an end.” He acknowledged that the administration has placed sanctions against the Russia and Putin-aligned oligarchs, but corrected Scmitt on those being Trump’s idea.
“In almost every case the sanctions were imposed with Trump complaining about it, saying we were being too hard,” said Bolton. “The fact is he barely knew where Ukraine was.”
“He once asked John Kelly, the second chief of staff, if Finland were part of Russia,” Bolton continued. “It’s just not accurate to say that Trump’s behavior somehow deterred the Russians.”
Bolton said that Putin simply didn’t feel his military was ready, and added that, so far in the invasion, it appears they still aren’t.
Toward the end of the interview, Schmitt said that credit is nevertheless due, and claimed Trump was the first to warn Europe about the dangers of relying on Russian gas and oil.
“You’re absolutely wrong,” yelled Bolton. “You’re absolutely wrong!”
“The first person to tell the Europeans not to rely on Russian oil and gas was Ronald Reagan,” said Bolton, which elicited a “Fair enough,” from Schmitt.
Watch above, via Newsmax.
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