John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations and former White House national security adviser under the Donald Trump administration, acknowledged on Tuesday that he had helped plan coup attempts in other countries that he avoided specifying. Bolton made these statements while being interviewed on CNN about the January 6, 2021, assault on Capitol Hill by a mob of Trump supporters, an event that is being investigated by a congressional committee. The nine members (seven Democrats and two Republicans) of the parliamentary panel accuse Trump of having incited and planned the violence that day days before after losing the 2020 elections.
During a conversation with CNN host Jake Tapper, the journalist stated that “you don’t have to be brilliant to pull off a hit,” to which the former adviser replied, “I don’t agree. As someone who has helped plan coups, not here, but in other countries, I can tell you that it takes a lot of work,” he boasted. Bolton also suggested that Trump was not competent enough to carry out a “carefully planned coup,” adding later: “As someone who has helped plan coups, not here, but you know (in) other places. , it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he [Trump] made”.
When the interviewer insisted on this point, Bolton declined to comment on “specific cases.” However, immediately afterwards, he alluded to the political crisis in Venezuela in 2019, while he was still a national security adviser, when the US government of which he was a part recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president.
Bolton went on to state that “the opposition tried to unseat an illegitimately elected president [Nicolás Maduro] and failed.” Maduro remained in power. In addition, he considered it “laughable” to believe that Trump, with whom he ended up at odds, is “not even half as competent as the Venezuelan opposition” to organize a coup. Bolton, considered a hawk A Republican favorable to US interventionism in other countries, he served as White House national security adviser from 2017 to 2020, when Trump dismissed him precisely because of disagreements over policy towards Venezuela.
“I feel that there are other things that you are not telling me [más allá de Venezuela]”, continued the CNN presenter, to which the also former US ambassador to the UN responded cryptically: “I’m sure there are”.
“John Bolton, who has served in the highest positions in the US government, including UN ambassador, casually boasts that he has helped plan coups in other countries,” wrote Dickens Olewe, a BBC journalist from Kenya on Twitter.
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John Bolton, who’s served in highest positions in the US government, including UN ambassador, casually boasting about he’s helped plan coups in other countries. https://t.co/v01CqssJSL
— Dickens Olewe (@DickensOlewe) July 12, 2022
Many foreign policy experts have criticized Washington’s record of intervention in other states over the years, from its role in the overthrow of then-nationalist Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh (1953) and its involvement in the Vietnam War (1965 -1975), until its invasions of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) already in this century. However, it is very rare for US officials to openly acknowledge their role in fomenting riots or coups in foreign countries.