- The Washington Times - Friday, January 6, 2023

John Bolton, a longtime GOP fixture and former national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, is considering a 2024 presidential bid that would serve as a check on his former boss.

“I would get in to win the nomination and I would do it primarily on the basis that we need a much stronger foreign policy,” Mr. Bolton told “Good Morning Britain.” “I think it’s important that it’s understood not just in Moscow, but it’s understood in places like Beijing, that unprovoked aggression against your neighbors is not something the United States and its allies will tolerate.”

Mr. Trump is the only declared candidate in the GOP primary for 2024, though some Republicans question whether his clout has waned. He endorsed Rep. Kevin McCarthy for House speaker, only for it to make no difference on the ballots this week.

“I think Trump‘s support within the party itself is in terminal decline,” Mr. Bolton said. “I wouldn’t run as a vanity candidate. If I didn’t think I could run seriously, then I wouldn’t get in the race.”

The British network took his comments as confirmation Mr. Bolton would launch a bid, though his team said that is inaccurate.

“U.K. TV station took what I had been saying — which is that I’m considering what to do re 2024 — and said I was running. Never underestimate the imagination of British TV. And if I were going to announce, I wouldn’t do it in Britain!” Mr. Bolton said through his representatives.

Mr. Bolton‘s comments to the British network follow a December interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in which he said he was considering a run. He cited Mr. Trump‘s assertion that parts of the Constitution could be suspended to take another look at the 2020 election results.

“You can’t simply say, ‘I support the Constitution.’ You have to say, ‘I would oppose people who undercut it,’” Mr. Bolton said at the time.

Mr. Bolton served in various roles in Republican administrations. He is known for his aggressive foreign policy stances, including his support for the Iraq War under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Bolton served as Mr. Trump‘s national security adviser from early 2018 to late 2019. He was ousted amid disagreements over Middle East policy.

Since their nasty divorce, Mr. Bolton has been a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, characterizing him as unfit for office.

President Biden, 80, hasn’t confirmed whether he plans to run for reelection.

The GOP field is still taking shape. Mr. Trump says he will defy the odds and spur the movement that brought him victory in 2016, though many are eyeing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a potential GOP frontrunner.

Correction: An earlier version of this story repeated a British TV network’s assertion John Bolton is running for president. Mr. Bolton‘s team says he is only considering a 2024 bid.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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