Bolton: Coups can protect US, allies

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — Coups around the world are a foreign policy tool for the United States to defend itself from threats, former national security adviser John Bolton says.

Speaking on NewsNation’s “On Balance With Leland Vittert,” Bolton expanded on his comments earlier this week when he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he’s helped plan regime changes in other countries. Bolton’s answer to Tapper was prompted by a question about former President Donald Trump’s role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol in January 2021. Bolton said the threat was overstated and that Trump isn’t competent enough to plan a coup, which can be used to deter threats from foreign countries.

“There are lot of places where hard men are in power and they threaten the United States,” Bolton said, citing countries like Iran and North Korea, which are both pursuing nuclear weapon capabilities. “To stop them from getting that capability to threaten our homeland … is a coup d’état to overthrow those regimes something we should be considering and planning for? Yes indeed, to protect America and its allies.”

Bolton’s comments to NewsNation came on the heels of President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, a country the president said during his campaign he would make a “pariah.” But in stark contrast to those comments, Biden greeted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a fist bump when he arrived Friday in Jeddah.

Biden hoped to press the Saudis to produce more oil in an effort to help lower record-high gas prices in America, which skyrocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The White House has come under fire from critics who question the decision to visit Saudi Arabia after U.S. intelligence found it was likely that the crown prince sanctioned the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

While bin Salman denied any involvement, Biden said Friday he told the crown prince he didn’t believe him. In any event, the reality is United States still needs to rely on Saudi Arabia for oil, Bolton said.

“Nobody is justifying the murder, but this endless conversation about it and the agony of the Washington Post is virtue signaling,” Bolton said. “Biden got to come out and say ‘I told that MBS just how much I felt about Khashoggi’ and of course it had no impact in the real world.”

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