- Former national security adviser John Bolton told President Donald Trump to “get out of the way” and said he was “not a conservative.”
- Bolton’s comments come as Trump vetoed the annual bill to fund the US military.
- The must-pass bill was passed with bipartisan support.
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Former national security adviser John Bolton described President Donald Trump’s veto against the annual bill to fund the US military as “very destructive” and against the ideals of his own political party.
In a CNN interview on Wednesday, Bolton said he agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in that Trump’s veto against the bipartisan bill was antithetical to the Republican party.
“Just to make a philosophical point, I think this is a very compelling piece of evidence why Donald Trump is not a conservative,” Bolton said. “Nobody in the House or Senate, Republican or Democrat, likes every provision of this bill. But for 59 straight years, our parties have compromised their differences to give clear policy direction on defense for the full year.”
“What Trump’s veto does here, potentially, is put that in jeopardy at a time when we’re suffering from one of the worst computer attacks in our history, when we see threats all around the world continuing to grow from China and elsewhere,” Bolton added.
Trump on Wednesday vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would allocate $741 billion for US national security. The bill passed through both chambers of Congress with wide support from Republicans and Democrats.
The Democratic-controlled House supported the bill in a 335-78 vote, which exceeds the two-thirds majority needed to slap down Trump’s veto. The Republican-majority Senate also reaffirmed the defense bill in a 84-13 vote.
Aside from continued funding of the US military, the bill includes substantive changes to overseas troop deployments and a 3% pay raise for service members.
Trump previously threatened to veto the bill for including provisions that would rename military bases that still bear the names of Confederate leaders within the next three years; as well as claiming it was not tough enough against China and Russia.
“Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions,” Trump said in a statement. ” It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia.”
Bolton also described Trump’s veto as a “purely gratuitous action” and “selfish.”
“He’s Donald Trump, and this is part of the problem,” Bolton said on CNN. “This is all about Donald Trump.”
“There’s very little you can do to repair your reputation, but for God’s sakes, get out of the way of the national security of the United States and get out of the way of our efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic,” Bolton added.
Bolton been critical of the Trump presidency after resigning in 2019. He has since written a memoir about his experience in the White House, “The Room Where It Happened,” which provides unflattering details of his tenure.
Trump, in turn, has also disparaged Bolton.
“Wacko John Bolton’s ‘exceedingly tedious’ (New York Times) book is made up of lies & fake stories,” Trump said in a tweet in June. “Said all good about me, in print, until the day I fired him. A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war. Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped. What a dope!”