13 July 2022
John Bolton, a former United States ambassador to the United Nations and ex-White House national security adviser, has admitted in an interview he had helped plan coups in foreign countries.
Bolton made the remarks to CNN on Tuesday after the day’s congressional hearing into the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Former President Donald Trump has faced accusations of inciting the violence in a last-ditch bid to remain in power after losing the 2020 election.
Speaking to CNN anchor Jake Tapper, however, Bolton suggested Trump was not competent enough to pull off a “carefully planned coup d’etat”, later adding: “As somebody who has helped plan coups d’etat – not here but, you know, [in] other places – it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he [Trump] did.”
Tapper asked Bolton which attempts he was referring to.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics,” Bolton said, before mentioning Venezuela. “It turned out not to be successful. Not that we had all that much to do with it but I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president and they failed,” he said.
In 2019, Bolton as NSA publicly supported Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call for the military to back his effort to remove socialist President Nicolas Maduro, arguing that Maduro’s re-election was illegitimate. Ultimately Maduro remained in power.
“I feel like there’s other stuff you’re not telling me [beyond Venezuela],” the CNN anchor said, prompting a reply from Bolton: “I’m sure there is.”