Geraldo Rivera: John Bolton still thinks invading Iraq was “a good idea”
Rivera parrots rumor that Bolton promised Trump he wouldn't start any wars, but reporting indicates Bolton's promise "never happened"
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From the March 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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GERALDO RIVERA: Bolton is a hardliner. We know him very well, we know the ambassador very well. He was one of the cheerleaders for the Iraq invasion in 2003, which ended disastrously. Unlike me, who feels very guilty about my support of that invasion back in those days, the ambassador --
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): At that time, it made sense.
RIVERA: Well, we like to think so. The ambassador, though, unapologetic about it. He still believes it was a good idea. I think it disrupted the entire Mid-East and we're still paying the piper for that. Now, why did he do it? I haven't spoken to the president about it, I don't know very specifically. Everything I read is that McMaster, a three-star battlefield commander Iraq and Afghanistan, a real hero, but as I understand he was pretty stiff in terms of his briefings with the president. And the president, alright, get to the point, what's -- all right. I get it general. I'm not saluting right now. Just give me --. And Bolton promises that he is not going to be as hardline as his rhetorical flourishes on this couch maybe indicated he would be.
PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): He is ferocious --
RIVERA: Ferocious is good word for it.
HEGSETH: He's wanted, the president's wanted to get rid of the Iran Deal. A lot of his advisers, like H.R. McMaster, have counseled against it. Now you've got John Bolton who's been a critic, one of the leading critics of the Iran Deal. Do you see this as the Iran Deal probably ending as a result of this?
RIVERA: Me personally, I hope not. But what I'm comforted by is, I remember you couldn't get more hardline team than Kissinger and Nixon in '72, '73. And yet those are the guys that opened up China, which was our arch enemy, ideological foe. We didn't recognize them, they didn't recognize us. We were at a constant verge of nuclear conflagration, and they normalized relationships with China. Maybe the team of Bolton-Trump can do the same with North Korea. I'm less confident about the Iran nuclear deal. I think that once you get away from that deal, I don't know where that ends. I don't like the prospect of it, because Bolton, Ambassador Bolton -- and in that sense he has synced up with President Trump, has been one of these preemptive strike kind of guys, and I just -- he has promised the president that he's not going to start any wars, and I take him at his word.
HEGSETH: But you're saying sometimes it takes hawks to make peace.
RIVERA: Sometimes it takes -- exactly, exactly.
Axios' Jonathan Swan on Twitter: "A source close to John Bolton tells me he made no promise to Trump that he 'wouldn't start any wars,' contrary to reports. 'Not true, wasn't discussed,' the source says."