Former National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed that President Donald Trump “does not have a philosophy,” but then admitted he had expanded the Republican Party.
Bolton joined CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday’s “State of the Union” to discuss the president’s refusal to concede the 2020 election to former Vice President Joe Biden, and he argued that the party had to figure out a way to forge ahead without Trump. (RELATED: Here Are All The People Close To Trump Who Have Gone On The Record Denying The Atlantic Story)
Tapper mentioned the Trump campaign’s ongoing legal challenges with regard to the presidential election, asking Bolton whether Trump attorney and former Republican New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani could prove to be a liability for the party as a whole.
“You once famously described Giuliani in the context of Ukraine and that scandal and described him as a, quote, hand grenade who is going to blow everybody up. Is that what is happening right now?” Tapper asked.
Bolton explained that the immediate issue was the two U.S. Senate runoff elections that were going to take place in Georgia in early January — and could cost Republicans control of the Senate.
“This is cold hard political reality: Trump is looking out for Donald Trump,” Bolton said. “The Republican Party has got to look out for the country and for the party at the same time. Not Donald Trump.”
Tapper pressed Bolton on Georgia then, asking whether he thought if voters would be more inclined to treat the Senate seats there as checks on President-elect Joe Biden or rebukes of Trump — and Bolton argued that it all depended on Trump’s behavior in the days ahead.
“The longer Trump rambles through our electoral system causing damage without Republican opposition the more the Democrats are going to say that it is a Republican Party characteristic and you can’t trust them with the instruments of government,” he explained.
Bolton went on to say that Trump had no real guiding ideology — and then immediately pivoted to say that he had succeeded in expanding the Republican Party, arguing that the way to move forward was to build on that.
“There is no Trumpism. The man does not have a philosophy and people can try and draw lines between the dots of his decisions. They will fail,” Bolton said. “I do think he has brought people into the party, disaffected with the Democrats, working class people, blue collar workers. I think that is great. The more, the better. I want a party like Ronald Reagan’s, optimistic, forward looking and trying to unite the country around conservative values. I don’t think that is going to be hard to do.”
“I think it’s very important for everybody to understand that at noon on the 20th of January, Donald Trump is no longer president,” Bolton concluded. “The dynamic changes enormously. I’m not saying he is going to be disappear. That’s, unfortunately, not going to happen … Far better to start that process now than to wait for him to cause more damage.”