Bolton blasts Trump's foreign policy in closed-door meeting: report

Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump isolated amid Syria furor | Pompeo, Pence to visit Turkey in push for ceasefire | Turkish troops advance in Syria | Graham throws support behind Trump's sanctions Democrats see John Bolton as potential star witness Syria furor underscores Trump's isolation MORE took aim at the Trump administration's foreign policy strategy on Wednesday at a closed-door lunch, reportedly ripping President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE in all but name.

Politico reported that Bolton tore into the president's efforts to negotiate with North Korea and Iran, which he warned were “doomed to failure," and also blamed Trump for not taking stronger action after Iranian forces downed a U.S. spy drone earlier this year.

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“He ripped Trump, without using his name, several times,” one anonymous attendee of the lunch told Politico.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on Bolton's reported remarks from The Hill.

Some of the former White House official's strongest remarks were reportedly reserved for Trump's called-off meeting with top Taliban officials at Camp David, which Trump announced within days of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Bolton reportedly called plans for the meeting "disrespectful" to 9/11 victims and their families, attendees told Politico, adding that it sent a "terrible signal" to U.S. allies.

Bolton was ousted from the White House last week, with the president and Bolton publicly disputing the terms of his departure. Trump later argued that his former national security adviser was "holding [him] back," and blamed Bolton for some "very big mistakes."

"Frankly he wanted to do things — not necessarily tougher than me — You know John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough he got us into Iraq … but he’s actually somebody I had a very good relationship with. But he wasn’t getting along with people in the administration that I consider very important," Trump said last Wednesday at the White house.

Asked to respond to Bolton’s reported criticism of his policies on Iran and Afghanistan, Trump told reporters: “Well, I was critical of John Bolton for getting us involved with a lot of other people in the Middle East.” 

“John was not able to work with anybody and a lot of people disagreed with his ideas, and a lot of people were very critical that I got him involved in the first place,” Trump added, noting that Bolton “got stuck in quicksand” in the Middle East post-9/11.

Trump also addressed some of Bolton's criticism regarding North Korea, saying, “He may be right and he may be wrong.”

"The relationship is good, and I think that’s better than somebody that goes around saying, we want to use the Libyan model,” Trump said, adding, "that set us back."

Updated: 7:09 p.m.