President Donald Trump said Thursday he is satisfied with advice he’s been receiving from John Bolton on international affairs, repudiating recent reports that he’s losing faith in his national security adviser.
“He has strong views on things but that’s okay. I actually temper John, which is pretty amazing,” Trump said Thursday during an Oval Office press conference. “I’m the one that tempers him. That’s okay. I have different sides. I have John Bolton and other people that are a little more dovish than him. I like John.”
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On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported Trump felt Bolton was trying to get him “into a war,” with Venezuela following Juan Guaidó’s failed coup attempt — a comment Trump later insisted was made in jest.
Bolton has a long track record as one of the GOP’s most hawkish voices on foreign policy. Most recently, Bolton said in a statement Sunday that the Navy would deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Central Command region in the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable message” to Iran.
He also backed claims from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who accused Russia of persuading Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to cling to office instead of fleeing to Cuba amid growing street protests.
“This is our hemisphere — it’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering,” Bolton told reporters May 1. “This is a mistake on their part. It’s not going to lead to an improvement in relations.”