- Title: Bolton: Trump doesn't like being briefed; he doesn't see the need for it
- Date: 30th June 2020
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JUNE 30, 2020) (REUTERS VIA ZOOM - Broadcasters: NONE Digital: NONE) (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JOHN BOLTON, SAYING: "I think it does go to this question of thinking that--, that everything is--, is embodied in the personal relationship, particularly with authoritarian leaders: Putin, Xi Jinping of China, Kim Jong Un of North Korea, Erdogan of Turkey and others. And, it's a mistake; that's not what reflects the actual state of relations. But, it suits the President to think that, you know, you have the two big guys in a room -- they resolve all the--, all the issues between them. It's not that simple. And, unfortunately, the foreign leaders we're talking about here -- Putin, Xi Jinping and others -- are hard men. They--, they know how to deal with adversaries. And, I think it's not a fair fight when they sit on the other side of the table from Donald Trump." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER JOHN BOLTON, SAYING: "The fact is: the President doesn't much like being briefed; he thinks he knows what he needs to know. That's wrong! I mean, that's just wrong. This is the presidency; it's a hard job. It requires somebody who's willing to work hard, learn things that he or she doesn't learn. No president comes in with 360 degree knowledge; that's for sure. And, everybody, I think -- prior presidents, anyway -- have tried to learn where they knew they had ground they had to make up. That's not Donald Trump's approach. So, what I tried to do was pick targets of opportunity where I thought some particular piece of information or some limited number of points made a lot of difference. I thought we had good success in--, in helping the President get ready for his second meeting with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi. And, I think it helped lead him to understand that he would be entirely justified in walking away from a bad deal in Hanoi, which he did. But, briefing this president is not a task that anybody has mastered because I don't think he sees the need for it."
- Embargoed: 14th July 2020 19:05
- Keywords: Donald Trump John Bolton Kim Jong Un Vladimir Putin Xi Jinping
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Reuters ID: LVA004CKKC85J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: U.S. President Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday (June 30) the United States should consider economic sanctions on Russia as part of a strong U.S. response if it is true that Moscow offered bounty payments to Taliban forces for killing Americans in Afghanistan.
Speaking to Reuters Television, Bolton said the reports, if confirmed, were "tantamount to an attack on Americans directly" and the publication of them appears to have triggered "chaos and confusion" within the White House.
"What we need is a more comprehensive strategy to deal with Russia. I think in (Russian President) Vladimir Putin and his government, you've got somebody playing a very weak hand very well. And I don't really think we're playing much of a hand at all," he said.
Bolton declined to confirm or deny reports in the New York Times and Washington Post of U.S. intelligence about the bounties. Trump denied on Monday having been briefed on the effort, which the reports said may have led to the deaths of U.S. service personnel.
(Production: Kevin Fogarty, George Tamerlani)
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