Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul says that President-elect Donald Trump appointing former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton to his Cabinet would be a major step toward breaking his promise of “changing America’s disastrous foreign policy.”
Rumors that Trump is considering Bolton as secretary of state prompted Paul to write an op-ed, calling Bolton “part of failed elite that Trump vowed to oppose.”
An opponent in the Republican presidential primaries, Paul said one of the things he agreed with Trump on was his opposition to the Iraq war.
“He not only grasped the mistake of that war early, but also seemed to fully understand how it disrupted the balance of power in the Middle East and even emboldened Iran,” Paul said of the president-elect.
Bolton served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, and was a proponent of going into Iraq.
“Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, [intent] on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years — particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president.” Paul said.
Bolton has stood by his support of overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. The news that Hussein’s regime did not possess weapons of mass destruction did not sway his decision, the Washington Examiner reported in 2015.
Paul said no man “is more out of touch” with the Middle East than Bolton and that Bolton is unable to see the mistakes he has made.
“All nuance is lost on the man,” Paul wrote. “The fact that Russia has had a base in Syria for 50 years doesn’t deter Bolton from calling for all-out, no holds barred war in Syria. For Bolton, only a hot-blooded war to create democracy across the globe is demanded.”
He ended his piece by calling Bolton a “menace” and saying he will oppose any advocate for war.
Though media reports, citing anonymous officials on the Trump transition team, have said that Bolton is under consideration for secretary of state, the same officials have said that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani – another supporter of the Iraq War – is the leading candidate for that position.