John Bolton defended himself for ripping on President Trump but refusing to support his presumptive Democratic challenger, Joseph R. Biden, during an interview aired Friday night.
Mr. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, said he is philosophically opposed to voting for Mr. Biden despite believing that Mr. Trump is unfit for office.
“My opposition to Joe Biden is philosophical,” Mr. Bolton told HBO host Bill Maher, adding that he believes Mr. Biden, the vice president during the previous administration, would reimpose the same national security policies if elected president as Mr. Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
“I think Trump presents an entirely different set of risks because I don’t think he’s competent to be president,” Mr. Bolton said on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
Mr. Bolton, who served under three other Republican presidents prior to Mr. Trump, added that he had hoped the GOP would put another candidate forward to run in November’s election.
“I wish there were a conservative Republican I could vote for who had a chance of winning, but there’s not,” Mr. Bolton added.
Pressed by Mr. Maher about the weight his endorsement would carry, Mr. Bolton argued he was already contributing to the election’s discourse by writing a tell-all book about his time in the Trump administration, “In the Room Where it Happened,” that the president unsuccessfully tried to prevent from being published.
“I view that as the contribution I can make,” Mr. Bolton said about his book. “And I’m going to be unstinting in my assessment of Trump as we get closer to the election. I’m not going to go out of my way to attack Biden because I think I’ll leave that to him. But I do think what I’m going to focus on is keeping Republican control of the Senate. Because if Biden does win, I think it’s very important to make sure that Republicans hold at least one of the three elected entities.”
Mr. Bolton, 71, served as the president’s national security adviser from April 2018 through September 2019. He previously held positions under the administrations of former President Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
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