Uber-hawk ex-US national security advisor John Bolton’s first public appearance after being fired by the White House saw him slam Trump’s North Korea policy, call for regime change – and be embraced by the mainstream media.
Proving there is no former White House official too unpleasant for the anti-Trump #Resistance media to embrace, Bolton’s reputational rehabilitation was evident in the headlines heralding his return to private-sector warmongering after he spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday. The no longer unemployed belligerent excoriated President Donald Trump for “seeking a middle ground” on North Korea and insisted Kim Jong-un couldn’t be trusted, claiming regime change and military force were the only possible ways forward.
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“John Bolton has finally spoken, and he put up a big warning sign about Trump and North Korea,” gushed the Washington Post, which not-so-subtly hinted that Bolton could be an asset in the impeachment proceedings currently unfolding against his former boss. “The big question with Bolton is how far he’s willing to go – and whether he might be a key witness in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry over Ukraine,” the paper salivated, pointing out that Bolton led the National Security Council when the White House allegedly tried to bury Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on an NSC computer.
“John Bolton finally says what he really thinks about Trump’s North Korea policy,” Vox fawned, praising the Republican warmonger for “keeping it real” by categorically contradicting Trump’s assertion that Kim is willing to denuclearize, thus “blowing a hole in the administration’s North Korea policy.” Vox even put words in Bolton’s mouth, explaining that his criticisms hid even more scathing condemnations.
Without coming out and saying it, Bolton effectively called the president’s policy foolish – and potentially dangerous.
Even the New York Times, which just last year tore into “Bolton’s illegal war plan for North Korea,” was suddenly all smiles, uncritically reprinting Bolton’s digs at Korean rapprochement (“Every day that goes by makes North Korea a more dangerous country”) while echoing the Post’s veiled pleas for cooperation on the impeachment investigation (Bolton’s appearance “was greeted with some expectation that he might also shed light on the whistleblower complaint that has prompted an impeachment inquiry”).
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The mainstream media’s newfound affection for Bolton seems to be inspired not just by the usual reflexive embrace of fired administration officials, but by the realization that launching a successful impeachment inquiry on the back of the flimsy ‘Ukrainegate’ scandal will require a lot of insider assistance.
MSNBC fleshed out this vision of Bolton as the Great White Hope for impeachment, suggesting he could be the savior the #Resistance needs to get Republicans to turn on Trump and go along with the House Democrats’ impeachment probe over Ukraine, even before Bolton made his CSIS speech. “If someone’s going to talk it is probably going to be him,” program host Joy Reid said on Sunday.
“All of this began happening when John Bolton walked out,” another panelist responded, while a second noted that Bolton “was the last babysitter” and “adult in the room” in the White House – though even Reid couldn’t resist getting in a dig at “the babysitter who wanted to nuke Iran.” Bolton can expect more enticements to return to the never-Trump fold from which he came – and more praise from the media when he inevitably does.
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