To no one’s surprise, President Trump lashed out at John Bolton today. He said of Bolton:
You know, John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough, he got us into Iraq. That’s tough.
Actually, Bolton didn’t get the U.S. into Iraq. President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld did.
It’s true that Bolton favored intervening in Iraq. But so did Trump, though he falsely claims he didn’t.
In any event, Bolton’s support for invading Iraq is well known. President Trump surely was aware of it when he chose Bolton to be his national security adviser. Yet, he picked Bolton anyway.
If Trump thinks Bolton’s strongly held views on something as important as the Iraq invasion manifested the wrong kind of toughness, then his selection of Bolton as his national security adviser is difficult to explain other than in terms unflattering to the president.
Trump also said today that “we have a lot of great people who want that position [national security adviser].” This may well be true, just as it probably was when Trump selected Bolton. But given the president’s track record, it seems unlikely that Trump will pick a national security adviser who is both great and satisfactory to Trump for more than a few months.