This past Tuesday, John Bolton, a former National Security Adviser, freely admitted during an interview with CNN that he had previously had a hand in the planning of coups d’etat in the past.
While speaking with Jake Tapper on a segment of “The Lead,” Bolton spoke about the ongoing January 6 Committee hearings, and the pair seemed to be of two minds about whether or not the riots that took place that day around Capitol Hill had been caused by a carefully planned and prepared coup attempt or simply just happened.
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, casually admitting that he's helped plan coups d'etat … pic.twitter.com/GsMdsrZp6H
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Bolton made the argument that the actions of former President Donald Trump, especially those after he lost the presidential election in 2020, had indeed been “indefensible,” but he did not think that the riot had been the result of manipulation and planning.
“I think it’s also important to understand, while nothing Donald Trump did after the election in connection with the lie about the election fraud, none of it is defensible. None of it is defensible,” stated Bolton. “It’s also a mistake, as some people have said, including on the committee, that somehow this was a carefully planned coup d’etat aimed at the Constitution. That’s not the way Donald Trump does things.”
Bolton continued on to speak about the approach Trump used as being more “rambling” from one idea to the next, creating new plans on the fly as the old ones disintegrated around him.
“He’s — to use a ‘Star Wars’ metaphor — a disturbance in the force,” Bolton went on, making the argument that Trump had just been looking out for himself and the riot just spawned as a result of that. “It’s not an attack on our democracy. It’s Donald Trump looking out for Donald Trump. It’s a once in a lifetime occurrence.”
“I don’t know that I agree with you, to be fair with all due respect. One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup,” fired back Tapper.
“I disagree with that. As somebody who has helped plan coups d’etat, not here, but other places, it takes a lot of work,” Bolton explained. “And that’s not what he did. It was just stumbling around from one idea to another.”
Bolton stated that while he would agree that Trump had, in fact, encouraged the rioters to move on the Capitol, it had not been a well-thought-out plan to try and overthrow the government.
“And if you don’t believe that, you’re going to overreact,” finalized Bolton. “And I think that’s a real risk for the committee, which has done a lot of good work … It is invariably the case that when you go too far, trying to prove your case, you undermine it. And I think you got to give credit to the intelligence of the American people to listen to the witnesses and let them come to the conclusion.”