The revelations make Trump’s WH2020 re-election challenge even harder
The big news in the White House race overnight are the first revelations from a book that’s just about to be published by John Bolton – who served as the National Security Advisor for seventeen months.
What makes this very different from other memoirs on the Trump presidency is that it comes from someone at the very top who was closely involved in observing the President’s foreign policy dealings at first hand. Judging by the first revelations you can see why Trump is so desperate to stop it. According to Peter Baker in the New York Times
“It is a withering portrait of a president ignorant of even basic facts about the world, susceptible to transparent flattery by authoritarian leaders manipulating him and prone to false statements, foul-mouthed eruptions and snap decisions that aides try to manage or reverse...Mr. Trump did not seem to know, for example, that Britain was a nuclear power and asked if Finland was a part of Russia, Mr. Bolton writes. The president never tired of assailing allied leaders and came closer to withdrawing the United States from NATO than previously known. He said it would be “cool” to invade Venezuela..At times, Mr. Trump seemed to almost mimic the authoritarian leaders he appeared to admire. “These people should be executed,” Mr. Trump once said of journalists. “They are scumbags.” When Mr. Xi explained why he was building concentration camps in China, the book says, Mr. Trump “said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which he thought was exactly the right thing to do.”
Bolton himself has been criticised for not making these revelations before but there is little doubt that launching it now, so soon before WH2020, will maximise sales and do maximum damage to Trump’s reelection chances.
Even if the President’s legal case succeeds there is enough now in the public domain to undermine him. Meanwhile the WH2020 polling continues to paint a bad picture for the incumbent.