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Rand Paul on Bolton Appointment: ‘Heaven Forbid’

Kentucky Republican writes that Bolton is ‘part of failed elite that Trump vowed to oppose’

John Bolton is the former Ambassador to the United Nations and a major proponent of the war in Iraq. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images file photo)
John Bolton is the former Ambassador to the United Nations and a major proponent of the war in Iraq. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images file photo)

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 in, 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.

[Trump Floats Iraq War Boosters Despite Not Supporting the War]

“Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent 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 “menance” and saying he will oppose any advocate for war.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another supporter of the Iraq war, is also under consideration for secretary of State. 

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