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Sunday, 20 December 2020

Trump slams John Bolton as 'one of the dumbest people in Washington' after his former National Security Adviser said it was 'appalling' if Trump had asked General Flynn about declaring martial law

 President Trump slammed his former national security adviser John Bolton after midnight on Sunday hours after he lambasted a suggestion by General Michael Flynn that martial law be imposed in swing states in order to re-do the presidential election.

‘What would Bolton, one of the dumbest people in Washington, know?’ Trump tweeted early on Sunday morning.

‘Wasn’t he the person who so stupidly said, on television, “Libyan solution”, when describing what the U.S. was going to do for North Korea?


‘I’ve got plenty of other Bolton “stupid stories”.’

‘Libyan solution’ is a reference to a proposal that North Korea follow the ‘Libya model’ of giving up its nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

President Trump
John Bolton

President Trump (left) slammed his former national security adviser John Bolton (right) after midnight on Sunday hours after he lambasted a suggestion by General Michael Flynn that martial law be imposed in swing states in order to re-do the presidential election

¿What would Bolton, one of the dumbest people in Washington, know?¿ Trump tweeted early on Sunday morning. ¿Wasn¿t he the person who so stupidly said, on television, ¿Libyan solution¿, when describing what the U.S. was going to do for North Korea? I¿ve got plenty of other Bolton ¿stupid stories¿.¿

‘What would Bolton, one of the dumbest people in Washington, know?’ Trump tweeted early on Sunday morning. ‘Wasn’t he the person who so stupidly said, on television, “Libyan solution”, when describing what the U.S. was going to do for North Korea? I’ve got plenty of other Bolton “stupid stories”.’

But that suggestion was angrily rejected by North Korea since Libya’s ruler, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, was eventually overthrown by rebels backed by the US and NATO even after he decommissioned his nuclear arsenal.

Bolton was national security adviser to Trump at the time when the president was pursuing diplomacy with North Korea and its ruler, Kim Jong-un.


Trump’s tweet attacking Bolton was a reaction to a CNN interview given by the former aide earlier on Saturday evening in which he blasted the idea of imposing martial law as ‘appalling.’

According to The New York Times and Axios, Trump met in the Oval Office on Friday with retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whom the president pardoned.

During the meeting, the two men discussed Flynn’s idea to use the military to impose martial law and redo the presidential election in the key swing states that Trump lost.

Earlier on Saturday evening, Trump appeared to deny the story, tweeting: 'Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!' 

Trump tweeted early Sunday that reports he had discussed instituting martial law in swing states is 'fake news' and 'bad reporting'

Trump tweeted early Sunday that reports he had discussed instituting martial law in swing states is 'fake news' and 'bad reporting'

Days earlier, Flynn appeared on the Newsmax network and urged Trump to ‘take military capabilities, and he could place them in those [swing states], and basically re-run an election in each of those states.’

‘These people out there talking about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done,’ Flynn said.

‘Martial law has been instituted 64 times,’ Flynn said.

'So, I’m not calling for that, we have a Constitutional process … that has to be followed.’

When asked about Flynn’s comments and the fact that Trump discussed it in the Oval Office, Bolton told CNN: ‘At least a few national security advisers have read the Constitution.’

'He could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically re-run an election in each of those states,' said former national security advisor Mike Flynn, who said Trump could declare martial law

'He could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically re-run an election in each of those states,' said former national security advisor Mike Flynn, who said Trump could declare martial law

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville issued a statement saying the military has 'no role' in determining U.S. elections

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville issued a statement saying the military has 'no role' in determining U.S. elections

‘Look, this is appalling,’ he continued.

‘There’s no other way to describe it. It’s unbelievable, almost certainly completely without precedent.’ 

Bolton added that it was not unusual for the Trump presidency to discuss ideas that ran counter to longstanding norms.

‘I think it’s important to understand [that] this is just another day at the office at the Oval,’ Bolton said. ‘This is just another day at the office.’

Bolton said Trump has shown ‘the same behavior repeated over and over again.’

‘Let’s take the idea of putting military capabilities into the swing states and running the election again,’ Bolton said.

‘There’s a difference between incompetence and malevolence.

‘In Trump’s case, this is incompetence. He’s unfit for the job.’

Bolton added: ‘I don’t think he’s ever read the Constitution. If he has, he clearly doesn’t understand it. And if he did understand it at one point, he’s forgotten it.’

Bolton called on Congressional Republicans to push back on Trump’s suggestion.

The president has claimed that the November 3, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 7 million votes, was fraudulent and tainted by widespread cheating.

But Trump and his allies have been unable to prove those claims in court as judges at the state and federal level dismissed their arguments as lacking merit. 

Trump floated naming lawyer Sidney Powell, who was booted from his campaign’s legal team after pushing unfounded conspiracy theories, as a special counsel investigating allegations of voter fraud as he grasps for straws to stay in power.

During that same Friday meeting at the White House, Trump went as far as discussing getting Powell security clearance, according to two people familiar with the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

Trump has reportedly discussed naming Sidney Powerll (above) as a special counsel to investigate alleged voter fraud as he refuses to accept that he lost the November 3 election

Trump has reportedly discussed naming Sidney Powerll (above) as a special counsel to investigate alleged voter fraud as he refuses to accept that he lost the November 3 election

Trump has been entertaining conspiracy theories and outlandish schemes to try to remain in office, egged on by allies like Flynn and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney. 

The fact that Trump was reportedly willing to entertain the idea of imposing martial law in order to reverse the results of an election he lost has raised alarm.

On Friday Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville responded with a statement asserting the military's long-held position against involving in US political decisions.

'There is no role for the US military in determining the outcome of an American election,' they said.

Civilian control of the military is a key tenet of the Constitution, and a distinguishing characteristic of democracies compared to military dictatorships. 

In addition to losing the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, Trump lost the Electoral College decisively to Biden, 306 electoral votes to 232.

Trump’s campaign and his allies have now filed roughly 50 lawsuits alleging widespread voting fraud and almost all have been dismissed or dropped. 

Trump has lost before judges of both political parties, including some he appointed, and some of the strongest rebukes have come from conservative Republicans. 

The Supreme Court has also refused to take up two cases - decisions that Trump has scorned.

With no further tenable legal recourse, Trump has been fuming and peppering allies for options as he refuses to accept his loss. 

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