Recently axed National Security Adviser John Bolton is currently experiencing a kind of heartbreak that is usually reserved for the sports world, or the Old Testament. Boston-accent hero Nomar Garciaparra is traded months before the Red Sox’s first World Series victory in 86 years. All-star forward DeMar Derozen is booted from the Raptors the year before Toronto wins its first NBA title. Bolton, warmongering for a conflict with Iran for decades, is sent packing three days before a strike on Saudi oil facilities pushes the administration to a “locked and loaded” standoff with Tehran.
It’s understandable that the former Trump staffer is frustrated; according to a new report from Politico, he’s letting it be known. At a private lunch hosted by a conservative think tank at Le Bernadin on Wednesday, Bolton dunked on Trump’s foreign policy, calling the president’s invitation for the Taliban to join him at Camp David “disrespectful” and a “terrible signal.” As anyone would do after an abrupt dismissal, he derided his boss’ new direction, calling negotiations with North Korea and Iran “doomed to failure.”
“He ripped Trump, without using his name, several times,” one attendee told Politico. Surprising no one, Bolton claimed that more aggressive action toward Iran could have saved the U.S. from its current predicament: He reportedly said that if the U.S. had hit Iran after a drone was downed in June, Iran might not have damaged the Saudi oil facilities last week. He also called the strike on Saudi Arabia an “act of war,” reminding the majority of Americans who don’t want an Iranian conflict why they collectively sighed in relief upon his White House ejection.
At least in his newfound free agency, Bolton won’t have to suffer the indignities of his former job, like when Trump sent him to outer Mongolia rather than include the national security adviser on North Korea talks, or when Trump hit him with Situation Room jabs like: “John, let me guess, you want to nuke them all?” Conveniently for Bolton, his midtown lunch audience was packed with conservative Establishment networking opportunities, including Alan Dershowitz, John Podhoretz, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, Fox News alum John Stossel, and billionaire eschaton-board-gamer Rebekah Mercer.