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Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Former national security adviser John Bolton said in an excerpt of an upcoming interview with ABC's "This Week" Wednesday that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks he can play President Trump "like a fiddle," adding: "I think he sees that he's not faced with a serious adversary here."

Why it matters: This is the first on-camera interview that features Bolton since explosive excerpts from his tell-all memoir were published on Wednesday. Bolton alleges — among other things — that Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help with his re-election.

What they're saying:

RADDATZ: "How would you describe Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin?”
BOLTON: “I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle. I think Putin is smart, tough. I think he sees that he's not faced with a serious adversary here. I don't think he's worried about Donald Trump.
RADDATZ: "Donald Trump, as we say, sees himself as a deal maker. What happened in the deal maker situations?
BOLTON: "Well, the president may well be a superb deal maker when it comes to Manhattan real estate. Dealing with arms limitation treaties on strategic weapons, dealing with many, many other international security issues are things far removed from his life experience. When you're dealing with someone like Putin, who has made his life understanding Russia's strategic position in the world, against Donald Trump, who doesn't enjoy reading about these issues or learning about them, it's a very difficult position for America to be in."

Go deeper: Highlights from the excerpts of John Bolton's book

Go deeper

Trump says he wants 9 justices in case Supreme Court must decide 2020 election

President Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that part of his urgency to quickly push through a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump claimed at the Republican National Convention that the only way he will lose the election is if it is "rigged," and he has declined to say whether he would accept the results of November's election if he loses to Joe Biden.

Sanders: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy"

Photo: BernieSanders.com

In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.