Bolton: I don't think Trump is 'fit for office'

Former White House national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonSunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Bolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed MORE tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE in an interview with ABC News, saying he is unfit for office and solely focused on getting reelected.

“I don’t think he’s fit for office. I don’t think he has the competence to carry out the job. There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than, ‘What’s good for Donald Trump’s reelection?’ ” Bolton said in a promotional clip of the interview, which is set to air in full on Sunday.

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Bolton continued, saying that the president’s obsession with winning a second term superseded the political ramifications of his decisions, citing his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korea nixes idea of more talks with US Trump's Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time MORE at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

“Well, I think he was so focused on the reelection that longer term considerations fell by the wayside,” he said. “So if he thought he could get a photo opportunity with Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone in Korea, there was considerable emphasis on the photo opportunity and the press reaction to it and little or no focus on what such meetings did for the bargaining positions of the United States.” 

The comments are the latest salvo in an increasingly bitter feud between Bolton and Trump as the former adviser makes media appearances promoting his memoir discussing his 17-month stint in the White House that is set to release next week.

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Bolton on Wednesday leaked excerpts from his book to several media outlets, including The Hill, that excoriate Trump as uninformed, detailing several scandalous allegations against the president.

Among Bolton's most notable claims are that the president solicited help from Chinese President Xi Jinping to win reelection by urging him to buy more agricultural products to boost support among farmers in the U.S. He also wrote that Trump dismissed human rights abuses in China against Uighur Muslims, that the president mused about jailing members of the press and that the commander in chief said invading Venezuela would be "cool."

"He second-guessed people's motives, saw conspiracies behind rocks, and remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House, let alone the huge federal government," Bolton writes

Trump fired back at Bolton Friday night, calling him a criminal and a liar.

“He broke the law,” Trump said of Bolton on Fox News Wednesday night. “He was a washed-up guy. I gave him a chance. He couldn’t get Senate-confirmed so I gave him a non-Senate-confirmed position where I could just put him there, see how he worked.”

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Trump also called Bolton a “liar” in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Wednesday and denied the claim that he signaled his support for Xi’s implementation of Uighur camps in China’s Xinjiang province. 

The Department of Justice Wednesday asked a federal judge to temporarily halt the memoir’s release, scheduled for June 23, arguing that it contains classified information.

“To be clear: Defendant’s manuscript still contains classified information, as confirmed by some of the Government’s most senior national-security and intelligence officials,” the Justice Department argued in a memo. “Disclosure of the manuscript will damage the national security of the United States.”

Simon & Schuster, the publishers of Bolton’s book, have defended the former national security adviser and slammed the administration’s efforts to block the memoir’s release as “nothing more than the latest in a long running series of efforts by the Administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the President.”