Former national security adviser John Bolton said on Friday that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin was “waiting” for a possible United States withdrawal from NATO, claiming former President Trump would have likely made such a move had he been reelected.
Bolton, during a Washington Post Live event, was asked about his memoir, in which he claimed that Trump wanted to leave the military alliance in 2018. The newspaper’s Opinions Editor-at-Large Michael Duffy asked him how close Trump was to withdrawing the United States from NATO.
“Yeah, I had my heart in my throat at that NATO meeting. I didn’t know what the president would do. He called me up to his seat seconds before he gave his speech. And I said, ‘Look, go right up to the line, but don’t go over it,’ ” Bolton replied.
“I sat back down, I had no idea what he’d do. I thought he’d put his foot over it, but at least he didn’t withdraw then,” he continued. “In a second Trump term, I think he may well have withdrawn from NATO, and I think Putin was waiting for that.” [Continue reading…]