President Trump has pushed back on the idea that former national security adviser John Bolton was too much of a hawk for him — asserting that it was Bolton who was constraining him.
“In fact, my views on Venezuela, and especially Cuba, were far stronger than those of John Bolton. He was holding me back!” the commander-in-chief tweeted.
Trump’s comment was posted along with a retweet of an earlier post by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fierce critic of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro.
“Just spoke to @realDonaldTrump on #Venezuela. It’s true he disagreed with some of the views of previous advisor. But as he reminded me it’s actually the DIRECT OPPOSITE of what many claim or assume. If in fact the direction of policy changes it won’t be to make it weaker,” Rubio had tweeted.
The president’s vow of strength on the foreign policy stage came a day after he mocked Bolton as “Mr. Tough Guy” and suggested his hard-line stance on North Korea had offended dictator Kim Jong Un, who subsequently insulted Bolton and refused to deal with him.
“I don’t blame Kim Jong Un for what he said after that. And he wanted nothing to do with John Bolton. And that’s not a question of being tough. That’s a question of being not smart to say something like that. And it set us back,” the president said at the White House on Wednesday.
Trump also slammed Bolton for his staunch support of both US invasions of Iraq.
“Mr. Tough Guy, you know, you had to go into Iraq. Going into Iraq was something he felt very strongly about,” Trump said.