Thursday, 27 January 2022

Trump attacks Bolton who calls him not ‘fit’ for office

By Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Donald Trump’s presidency was in turmoil Thursday after top ex-aide John Bolton declared him unfit for office, raising the stakes on a controversial re-election rally meant to boost his flailing campaign — yet facing troubles of its own.

Trump’s once supremely self-confident march toward a second term was already in a hole due to criticism over his responses to the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide anti-racism protests.

Now, the outsider president who had never even contested an election before his shock win in 2016, faces a blistering insider attack from his former national security aide.

“I don’t think he’s fit for office. I don’t think he has the competence to carry out the job,” Bolton told ABC News to promote his book, “The Room Where it Happened.”

The book — which the White House is trying desperately to get stopped by court order — alleges that Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping for re-election help, obstructed justice, and was no match for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle,” Bolton told ABC.

Trump lashed back at Bolton, calling him a “sick puppy” and dismissing the book as “fiction.”

But for all the scandals and even impeachment that Trump has previously weathered, the book inflicts a newly painful kind of wound.

He largely brushed off his responsibility for the rapid spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 117,000 Americans and forced a traumatic economic slowdown, calling it “the invisible enemy” and blaming it on China.

And he branded the wave of street anger over police brutality a left-wing phenomenon, rejecting polls that show a groundswell in those believing that systemic racism is a problem.

Bolton, though, is different.

A lifelong Republican and foreign policy hawk, he is arguably well to the right of Trump and therefore not vulnerable to Trump’s usual attacks.

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