Trump Faults ‘Mr. Tough Guy’ Bolton On Multiple Issues

Singles out Bolton's comments on 'Libyan model' in North Korea

President Trump made a new round of comments the day after firing John Bolton, elaborating on the problems he had with Bolton on several issues, and dismissing him as “Mr. Tough Guy.”

Trump had been reported to be roasting Bolton on issues for awhile, for always being the most hawkish voice in the room. Trump said “Mr. Tough Guy, you know, you had to go into Iraq. Going into Iraq was something he felt very strongly about.”

His biggest fault to Bolton was on North Korea, where he said it was a “disaster” that Bolton had talked on the “Libyan model,” which is to say a violent, US-imposed regime change and nation building that never really took.

Trump said the reference was not only “not a question of being tough,” but “a question of being not smart to say something like that.” He noted North Korea had major problems with Bolton after that point.

North Korea had made clear that was the case, and that they believed the “maniac” Bolton was undercutting diplomacy. It is worth noting that Trump seems to also be aware that was the case.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.