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(LifeSiteNews) — Former White House official John Bolton, who earned accolades from the legacy media for criticizing President Donald Trump in a 2020 book, raised eyebrows Tuesday when he admitted to having helped plan coups d’etat in foreign countries.
>Bolton, who served as Trump’s National Security Adviser for 17 months, made the comments during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday in which the conversation centered on the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Tapper suggested the riot was part of an orchestrated plot to overthrow the government, but Bolton pushed back, arguing, “that’s not the way Trump does things.”
While prefacing his statement by saying that “nothing Donald Trump did after the election in connection with the lie about the election fraud, nothing is defensible,” Bolton added that “it’s also a mistake” to say that “somehow, this was a carefully planned coup d’etat aimed at the Constitution.”
Calling Trump a “disturbance in the force,” Bolton told Tapper that what happened on January 6 was “not an attack on our democracy. It’s Donald Trump looking out for Donald Trump. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.”
Tapper disagreed, arguing that “one doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup.”
“As someone who has helped plan coups d’etat, you know, not here, but other places, it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he did,” Bolton said.
Tapper: I don’t know if I agree with you with all due respect. One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup
Bolton: I disagree with that as somebody who has helped plan coups, not here but other places… pic.twitter.com/jK61a0e3lV
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 12, 2022
Bolton’s comment sparked immediate backlash in the U.S. and abroad.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin and a Turkish media outlet supportive of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested that Bolton’s comment revealed U.S. meddling in foreign governments, The Washington Post reported.
The Post pointed out that former U.S. intelligence agency officials took issue with the comments, arguing that contrary to his assertion, Bolton had never been involved in planning coups.
“He’s full of s***,” said John Sipher, who served for 28 years in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service. “He’s never planned a coup.”
“Bolton never touched a coup,” wrote former CIA station chief Milt Bearden, responding to Sipher. “And anyone who thinks fomenting coups is a good idea just doesn’t get out enough.”
Meanwhile, political commentators joked that Bolton had offered an unusual defense of the president, and suggested he revealed information that had long been suspected.
“Former Trump advisor John Bolton said the quiet part out loud,” said Daily Sceptic editor-in-chief Toby Young.
Former Trump advisor John Bolton said the quiet part out loud. Speaking on CNN, Bolton claimed, “As someone who has helped plan coup d’etats – not here, but you know, other places – it takes a lot of work.” https://t.co/0T3Zb0SDYe
— Toby Young (@toadmeister) July 13, 2022
Former NewsTalkFM digital news editor Stephen McNiece called Bolton’s comment “One of the most honest — and by that I mean horrifying — admissions about US foreign policy we’ve seen from a prominent (former) US official.”
Daily Wire podcaster and author Michael Knowles joked, “I know John Bolton isn’t the most popular guy in conservative circles these days, but his defense of Trump here is just marvelous.”