Ex-Trump aide Bolton says N. Korea’s Kim laughing at US president

He does not consider Trump to be fit for office and hopes he is a one-term president

WASHINGTON • Former US national security advisor John Bolton said on Sunday he thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “gets a huge laugh” over US counterpart President Donald Trump’s perception of their relationship.

Bolton spoke to ABC News for his first interview ahead of today’s release of his tell-all book, which contains many damning allegations against Trump.

When journalist Martha Raddatz asked if Trump “really believes Kim loves him”, Bolton replied he could see no other explanation.

“I think Kim gets a huge laugh out of this,” Bolton said. “These letters that the president has shown to the press…are written by some functionary in the North Korean Workers Party agitprop office. And yet, the president has looked at them as evidence of this deep friendship,” he said, adding that friendship does not amount to international diplomacy.

Bolton also said he does not consider Trump to be fit for office and hopes he is a one-term president. “I hope (history) will remember him as a one-term president who didn’t plunge the country irretrievably into a downward spiral we can’t recall from. We can get over one term,” he said.

Bolton added that he will vote for neither Trump nor Democrat Joe Biden in the November presidential elections. Instead, he will “figure out a conservative Republican to write in” on the ballot.

Trump’s administration had sought to halt publication of Bolton’s book, but a US judge refused on Saturday to block its release, saying it was too late for a restraining order.

Bolton’s book also sharply criticises South Korean President Moon Jae-in over his role in the Kim summits.

Moon’s office yesterday accused Bolton of distorting facts, jeopardising future talks, and of violating “basic diplomatic principles”.

“The Room Where it Happened” is Bolton’s portrait of 17 months up close with Trump until he was fired last September.

In his interview, Bolton said he had resigned, noting that the “last straw” for him was when Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David during Afghan peace negotiations.

Bolton’s book, which Trump describes as “fiction”, describes the president “pleading” with Chinese

President Xi Jinping during trade negotiations to boost the US president’s chances of re-election.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have criticised Bolton for publishing his book, saying he should have instead come forward during the impeachment process.

The House Intelligence Committee chairman, Democrat Adam Schiff, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Bolton “indicts himself, for cowardice and for greed” by making his accusations in a book instead of testifying in front of the impeachment hearings. — AFP