Jul 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

John Bolton says he helped plan foreign coups

 Former National Security Adviser John Boltonduring a forum at the Page Auditorium on the campus of Duke University on February 17, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina.
Former national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

John Bolton, who served as national security adviser in the Trump administration, said Tuesday he's previously helped plan coups in other countries.

Driving the news: Bolton on CNN rejected the notion that the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot was a "carefully planned coup" by former President Trump. "That's not the way Donald Trump does things," Bolton told CNN's Jake Tapper. "It's rambling from one … idea to another, one plan that falls through, and another comes up."

What he's saying: "Ultimately, he did unleash the rioters at the Capitol. As to that, there’s no doubt," the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations asserted.

  • "As somebody who has helped plan coup d’état, not here but other places, it takes a lot of work, and that's not what he did," he added.

The intrigue: Although Bolton said he wouldn't go "into specifics" on which countries he'd assisted coups in, he noted that he'd written in his book about efforts in Venezuela to end Nicolás Maduro's regime that "turned out not to be successful — not that we had all that much to do with it."

  • "But I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president, and they failed," Bolton said. "The notion that Donald Trump was half as competent as the Venezuelan opposition is laughable."

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