Kim Jong Un likely laughing at Trump: Bolton

This article is more than 12 months old

Former adviser says in new tell-all book that US President has flawed perception of his relationship with North Korean leader

WASHINGTON: Former US national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday he thinks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "gets a huge laugh" over US counterpart Donald Trump's perception of their relationship.

Mr Bolton spoke to ABC News for his first interview ahead of the release today of his tell-all book, which contains damning allegations against Mr Trump.

When journalist Martha Raddatz asked if Mr Trump "really believes Kim Jong Un loves him," Mr Bolton replied he could see no other explanation.

"I think Kim Jong Un gets a huge laugh out of this," Mr Bolton said. "These letters that the president has shown to the press... are written by some functionary in the North Korean Workers Party agitprop office.

"And yet, the president has looked at them as evidence of this deep friendship," he said, adding that friendship does not amount to international diplomacy.

Mr Bolton also said he does not consider Mr Trump to be fit for office and hopes he is a one-term president.

"I hope (history) will remember him as a one-term president who didn't plunge the country irretrievably into a downward spiral we can't recall from. We can get over one term," he said.

Mr Bolton added that he will vote for neither Mr Trump nor Democrat Joe Biden in the November presidential elections. Instead, he will "figure out a conservative Republican to write in" on the ballot.

Mr Trump's administration had sought to halt publication of Mr Bolton's book, but a US judge refused on Saturday to block its release, saying it was too late for a restraining order.

Mr Bolton's book also sharply criticises South Korean President Moon Jae In over his role in the Kim Jong Un summits.

Mr Moon's office yesterday accused Mr Bolton of distorting facts, jeopardising future talks, and of violating "basic diplomatic principles".

The Room Where it Happened is Mr Bolton's portrait of 17 months up close with Mr Trump until he was fired last September.

In his interview, Mr Bolton said he had resigned, noting that the "last straw" for him was when Mr Trump invited the Taleban to Camp David during Afghan peace negotiations.

Mr Bolton's book, which Mr Trump describes as "fiction", describes the president "pleading" with Chinese President Xi Jinping during trade negotiations to boost the US president's chances of re-election.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday said he was in the room with Mr Trump and Mr Xi when they met, but never heard the US president ask for China's help in winning re-election.

Mr Navarro told CNN's State of the Union programme that the explosive allegation made in a book by Mr Bolton was "just silly" given how tough Mr Trump had been on China and its unfair trade practices.

"I never heard that. I was in the room," Mr Navarro said.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have criticised Mr Bolton for publishing his book, saying he should have instead come forward during the impeachment process. - REUTERS