Transcript for John Bolton discusses whether Trump may become security threat after leaving office
We are here with ambassador John Bolton. Sara? Yes President-Elect Biden announced his choices for members of his foreign policy and national security team. Now, I don't expect your philosophical views align with them. What's your take on their readiness for the job? What's the biggest national security issue the incoming administration will be faced I know many of these people. I think they're competent. They'll be traditional liberal establishment. What I hope is we can get back to a nice normal debate on policy. I would welcome it after the last four years and I'm ready to go. The biggest challenge they face, the excess Sten shall challenge is dealing with China. If their default position is the position of the Obama administration on China, I think we have real trouble. The popular view of China has changed because of the coronavirus, because of greater understanding of Chinese conduct internationally. I think Biden and team have a real chance to shape a consistent, coherent American and international response to the threat China poses. I hope they take advantage of it. Well, you know, sir, there have been some calls from some Democrats for the next administration to investigate and prosecute trump once he's out of office. You wrote york you found some of his actions with the Ukraine potentially illegal. Based on what you saw, does trump have real reason to be ncerned if the next administration follows through with pursuing him? Well, I think there's a general danger in criminalizing politics in America. I think that when Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, he did the country a real service. It cost him dearly politically, but I think it was the correct thing to do if trump is engaged in illegal conduct in his personal capacity, then I don't have any trouble with anybody investigating it. If it's going to be investigations based on political differences, as opposed to outright criminal allegations, I would be very concerned about it. Sometimes there's a fine line there. But as the law and order president, it seems -- You talked about -- Never mind. Go ahead. You canollow up, sunny, if you want. Well, you know we do have the constitution for a reason, ambassador. The constant flouting of the emoluments clause and other things have been problematic. I would offer criminal. May I ask can you tell me what your understanding of the emoluments clause is? I have a very good understanding of the emoluments clause. We don't have enough time to discuss that right now. I want to ask you another question. I went to law school, I believe like you did, ambassador. You talked about president trump's lack of discipline. Do you worry once he's out of office he could be a security risk when it comes to, say, revealing national secrets or something like that? My sense has always been he's been somewhatf a national security threat. Back on the emoluments clause if it was so obvious what he was doing was wrong, why wasn't he impeached for violations. It would have been helpful if you testified, ambassador. I didn't -- I don't have any knowledge of his violation of the emoluments clause. I did volunteer to testify. The senate voted not to have witnesses. Now back on the national security threat that trump may pose after his presidency, I do think that there's reason to worry, but on the other hand I would say this, I think he didn't pay an awful lot of attention to most of his intelligence briefings WHE they were given, at least during my tenure. Much of the time during the briefings was consumed by him talking. Lyndon Johnson said I don't learn very much when I'm talking. Nobody told Donald Trump that. The amount of things he could disclose are a lot more limited that people might this. There you go. He wasn't paying enough attention to get himself in any trouble.
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