John Bolton: Take It From A Guy Who Planned Coups, Jan 6 Was No Coup


Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said in a Tuesday interview on CNN that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was not a coup based on his intimate knowledge of planning coups.

Bolton told CNN host Jake Tapper that people are too quick to label Jan. 6 an attempted coup by former President Donald Trump and his supporters. He argued that Trump was incapable of pulling off a “carefully planned coup d’état.”

“It’s also a mistake, as some people have said, including on the Committee and the commentators, that somehow this was a carefully planned coup d’état aimed at the Constitution. That’s not the way Donald Trump does things,” Bolton told Tapper. “It’s rambling from one half vast idea to another. One plan that falls through, and another comes up. That’s what he was doing.”

Bolton said Trump’s actions were “not an attack on our Democracy.” He made it clear he wasn’t defending Trump, but said the riot was a “once in a lifetime occurrence.”

Tapper argued that Trump didn’t need to be a brilliant mastermind to pull off a successful coup. Bolton disagreed, citing his past experience planning coups. (RELATED: Poll: Voters Couldn’t Care Less About The Jan 6 Hearings)

“As somebody who has helped plan coup d’état — not here, but, you know, other places — it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he did,” Bolton said to Tapper.

Tapper later asked Bolton to explain the coup attempts he was referring to, but Bolton said he wasn’t going to talk about it.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics, but well, I wrote about Venezuela in the book,” Bolton responded. “It 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.”

It is not typical for a former U.S. official to acknowledge their or the U.S. government’s participation in international coups.