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Ex-Security Chief Bolton Weighs Presidential Run: Trump ‘Not fit to be President”

By Belal Awad · August 1, 2023

In brief…

  • Former National Security Advisor John Bolton is considering a presidential in 2024.
  • He expressed concern about state of the GOP and potential Trump re-election, whom he calls incompetent.
  • Bolton believes Trump's nomination is not inevitable.
  • Bolton considered a presidential run in 2012, but ultimately declined.
Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton may take on his old boss for the GOP presidential nod.  Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has hinted at a potential run for the presidency in 2024. Bolton told CNN he is currently weighing his options and will make a decision later this month. He also voiced concern over the current state of the Republican Party and the potential re-nomination of Donald Trump, his former boss and possible future foe.

Bolton, who served under Trump from 2018 to 2019, questioned the 45th President’s basic competence, stating, “I think in private, honest conversations, almost all of Trump’s cabinet members and other senior advisers would say their conclusion after watching him during their time in office is that Trump is not fit to be president. It’s not a question of the drama or his personality… It’s a question of his basic lack of competence to do the job.”

The former UN ambassador also commented on fresh polls that show Trump holding a wide lead for the GOP nomination. “If you look at the New York Times poll that came out today, with Trump at 54% and only Ron DeSantis in double digits, I don’t think anybody has caught fire yet,” said Bolton. Even so, he argued, it is far from inevitable that Trump will win the nomination, noting that today’s poll may represent Trump’s high point or be an outlier.

Bolton stressed the need for a candidate who will directly challenge Trump, arguing that to beat him, the candidate needs to “go after him”. He warned that a second Trump term would damage the country and conservative principles.

Bolton added that “Trump cannot serve a third term, which means he’s freed from any electoral constraint… And once free from those political constraints - which were often the only thing that brought him to sensible decisions - people who think he would be more conservative in a second term are going to be very disappointed.”

Bolton considered a presidential bid once before, in 2012, but ultimately declined to run.