Rand Paul on Bolton ouster: He was ‘naive,’ wanted to ‘topple regimes’
President Donald Trump’s decision to fire former National Security Adviser John Bolton was strongly backed by Sen. Rand Paul. And the Kentucky senator was brutal in his assessment of Bolton.
Appearing on Fox News’ “Your World,” Paul made it clear that he was no fan of Bolton’s, who he dismissed as “naive” and preoccupied with regime change.
“I think the threat of war around the world is greatly diminished with Bolton out of the White House,” Paul told host Neil Cavuto. “I think he had a naive point of view for the world that we should topple regimes everywhere and institute democratic governments, and we would make the world perfect or remake the world in our image and, frankly, it doesn’t work that way.”
He pointed to a history of replacing Middle East strongmen, only to create vacuums and see chaos set in — see Iraq or Libya.
Paul also insisted that Trump does not share Bolton’s worldview.
“The president is talking about not having regime change and finding a diplomatic solution of some of these conflicts around the world,” he said. “I think the president deserves to have somebody who’s his national security adviser who actually will try to further his policy and not try to stymie it.”
Paul was asked to comment on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeting on Bolton’s ouster: “I sincerely hope his leaving the White House does not mean that the deep-state forces at State and Treasury—who have been fighting tooth and nail to preserve the Obama Iran nuclear deal—have finally convinced the president to go soft on Iran.”
Saying the U.S. can’t intervene everywhere in the world, Paul countered that he was “glad to see him gone.”
“I hope the president can find somebody who actually listens to what the president says,” he added, insinuating that Bolton did not. “This president is extraordinary. In his State of the Union, he said great nations don’t fight perpetual war. He’s absolutely right, but that defies the orthodoxy of establishment foreign policy in Washington.”
Paul went on to say Trump “needs to find somebody who has the guts to stand up to the orthodoxy, not someone who is part of the swamp.”
The junior senator also took to Twitter to call Bolton’s departure “necessary,” and to say Trump “has great instincts on foreign policy” and “should be served by those who share those views.”
I commend @realDonaldTrump for this necessary action. The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views. https://t.co/XEBwzySxac
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 10, 2019
At the very end of the interview, Cavuto remarked on President Trump not telling Bolton directly that he was out, but Paul kept his focus on Bolton.
“I think if you’re gonna work for the president, you need to work for the president. You need to try to further the president’s agenda,” he told the Fox News host.
“My opinion is that I saw John Bolton working against the president’s agenda. He had his own agenda,” Paul added. “And when the president was trying to negotiate a deal with North Korea, you got Bolton out there saying we should try ‘the Libyan solution’ which means we should execute their leader.
“That’s not very helpful to any negotiated settlement with North Korea or any country.”