Former senior US official John Bolton admits to planning foreign coup plot
John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the United Nations and former White House national security adviser, said on Tuesday he helped plan overseas coup plots.
Bolton made the remarks to CNN following his congressional testimony on January 6, 2021, the attack on the United States Capitol. Council lawmakers on Tuesday accused former US President Donald Trump of inciting violence in a last-ditch effort to stay in power after his defeat in the 2020 election.
However, speaking to CNN host Jake Tapper, Bolton suggested that Trump did not have the authority to carry out a “carefully planned coup,” later adding: “It was someone who helped. coup planning – not here but you know (in) other places – takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he (Trump) did.”
Tapper asked Bolton what effort he was referring to.
“I won’t go into specifics,” Bolton said, before mentioning Venezuela. “It turned out to be unsuccessful. Not that we had much to do with it but I see the opposition trying to oust an illegally elected president and they failed,” he said.
In 2019, Bolton as national security adviser publicly supported Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call for the military to back his effort to topple socialist President Nicolas Maduro, arguing that Maduro’s re-election is not legal. In the end, Maduro remains in power.
“I feel like there are other things that you’re not telling me (besides Venezuela),” the CNN host said, prompting Bolton to reply, “I’m sure there are.”
Many foreign policy experts have over the years criticized Washington’s history of intervention in other countries, from its role in the 1953 overthrow of then-Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and the Vietnam War. South, to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan this century.
But it is highly unusual for American officials to publicly acknowledge their role in fomenting unrest abroad.
“John Bolton, who has held the highest positions in the US government, including UN ambassador, casually brags about how he helped plan coups in other countries,” Dickens Olewe, a BBC journalist from Kenya, writes on Twitter.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Edited by Michelle Price and Rosalba O’Brien