Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.
President Donald Trump is incompetent and is not “fit for office” according to his former national security adviser John Bolton.
Bolton’s latest rebuke of his former boss came in a clip of an interview with ABC, which is due to air on Sunday night, days before his tell-all book is published.
“I don't think he's fit for office,” Bolton says. "I don't think he has the competence to carry out the job.”
The clip focused on Trump’s foreign policy — or lack of it — and Bolton’s belief that the president’s overriding concern in all such matters was his re-election.
“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. “I think that he was so focused on the re-election that longer-term considerations fell by the wayside.”
As an example, Bolton highlighted Trump’s desire to have a photo taken with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone on the border between North and South Korea last year.
“There was considerable emphasis on the photo opportunity and the press reaction to it and little to no focus on what such meetings did for the bargaining position of the United States,” Bolton said.
Indeed, since that photo opportunity, U.S. relations with North Korea have deteriorated and nuclear talks have stalled while Kim has continued to build out his nuclear arsenal and develop more advanced weaponry.
Portions of Bolton’s upcoming book were leaked to the press Wednesday, and they contain damning criticism of and revelations about Trump’s actions as president.
Bolton claims Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping for help winning re-election and says the president called China’s detention of over a million Uighurs in concentration camps “exactly the right thing to do.”
Trump also allegedly didn’t know that the U.K. was a nuclear power and he questioned if Finland was part of Russia. Bolton also claims that one of Trump’s staunchest allies, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, called the president “full of shit” during the historic 2018 summit with North Korea.
Trump’s response to the excerpts and to Bolton’s press tour has been predictably negative. On Wednesday night he raged against Bolton on Twitter, called him “incompetent”, a “wacko”, a “dope” and a “disgruntled boring fool.”
Bolton also came in for considerable criticism from Democrats, who blasted the former national security adviser for holding onto the information contained in the book rather than testifying before the House during impeachment hearings at the end of 2019.
"When Bolton was asked, he refused and said he’d sue if subpoenaed. Instead, he saved it for a book,” tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), who conducted most of the impeachment hearings as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot," Schiff added.
Cover: File photo dated April 30, 2019 of White House National Security Advisor John Bolton talks to reporters in Washington, DC, USA. Olivier Douliery/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images) // President Donald Trump speaks about the PREVENTS "President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide," task force, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
This article originally appeared on VICE US.