Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Bolton: Trump lacked enough 'advance thinking' for a coup MORE on Friday dismissed the suggestion that former President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE might have tried to stage a coup after losing the 2020 election, saying his former boss didn’t have enough “advance thinking” for it.

Bolton joined CNN’s Brianna Keilar for an interview regarding recent reports that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyAustin misses an opportunity in Singapore but scores big in Philippines Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Watchdog warns US will repeat mistakes of Afghanistan MORE was fearful Trump would attempt a coup d'état toward the end of his time in office, Mediate reported.

“The idea of Trump staging a coup does give him too much credit,” Bolton said. “That requires advance thinking, planning, strategizing, building up support, and I just don’t think he’s capable of that.”


“What he was capable of was on a daily basis doing something more and more outrageous than he had done the day before, all to the same end of staying in power. But the notion that Trump could have orchestrated a coup does give him too much credit,” he added.

Excerpts of a forthcoming book from Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker include Milley saying he feared Trump might attempt a coup and claims he told his deputies, "They may try, but they're not going to f------ succeed.”

Trump responded Thursday to the reports on Milley’s comments, saying the idea he was even thinking about a coup is “so ridiculous!”

“Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of 'coup,' and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley," Trump said.

Asked back in November about Trump’s attempts to challenge and undermine the election results, Bolton sounded a similar note.

He said calling Trump’s efforts to overturn the election a “nonviolent attempt at coup” would give him “too much credit.”

“I think he’s just playing for time in hopes that something will emerge that allows him either to have a good reason why he’s lost or in his mind, maybe still to win,” Bolton said last year. “But I think that simply emphasizes the need for senior Republican leaders to join those who have begun to come out and say Trump’s behavior is inexcusable.”