- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 18, 2020

John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, said in a new interview that he doesn’t think the president is “fit for office” or that he has the “competence” to do the job.

“I don’t think he’s fit for office — I don’t think he has the competence to carry out the job,” Mr. Bolton told ABC News in an excerpt of a forthcoming interview that was released on Thursday.

“There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what’s good for Donald Trump’s re-election,” Mr. Bolton said. “I think he was so focused on the re-election that longer-term considerations fell by the wayside.”

The Trump administration is trying to block Mr. Bolton from publishing an explosive new book, saying it contains classified information.

“He broke the law, very simple,” Mr. Trump said on Fox News on Wednesday. “This is highly classified information, and he did not have approval.”

In the book, Mr. Bolton said Mr. Trump stressed the electoral importance of trade policy to Chinese President Xi Jinping and that Mr. Trump praised Mr. Xi’s plan to build “concentration camps” in Xinjiang for China’s Uighur minority population.

The president has fired back, telling the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Mr. Bolton is a liar and that Mr. Bolton’s recollection of his conversation with Mr. Xi about the camps is wrong.

The president on Thursday called Mr. Bolton a “wacko” whose book “is made up of lies & fake stories.”

In a tweet shortly after midnight, the president said Mr. Bolton “said all good about me, in print, until the day I fired him.”

“A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war,” Mr. Trump said of the man he appointed national security adviser in April 2018. “Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped. What a dope!

He added, “President Bush fired him also. Bolton is incompetent!”

Mr. Bolton served as U.N. Ambassador under President George W. Bush for about 17 months.

Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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