TRANSCRIPT: John Bolton interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz

BOLTON: Well, my experience was he very rarely read much. The intelligence briefings took place perhaps once or twice a week.

BOLTON: Well, I was very concerned that he would give away things that he didn’t need to give away. And as I describe in the book, and has received massive press coverage at the time, he told Kim Jong Un we would give up, what he called, “the war games on the Korean peninsula,” which caused enormous heartburn at the Defense Department.

And he got enormous attention from it. I thought it was a strategic mistake. The U.S. itself got nothing from that. Donald Trump got a lot. The United States gave much more legitimacy to this dictator. And didn’t accomplish anything toward any meaningful discussion on the elimination of their nuclear weapons program.

That you can’t just make a decision one day, and three months later, make a contrary decision, and expect that your adversary is gonna do anything– other than conclude that you’re not following any policy at all. And that if they have a plan they’re pursuing, they’re more likely to succeed than you are.

But he wanted a probe of Joe Biden in exchange for delivering the security assistance that was part of the congressional legislation that had been passed several years before. So that in his mind, he was bargaining to get the investigation, using the resources of the federal government, which I found very disturbing.

I think — you know, foreign governments are not gonna be fascinated by what they read in my book. And I don’t think President Trump really fears what foreign governments are gonna read in the book. He fears what the American people are gonna read.



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