In 2016, now-President Donald Trump famously campaigned as a non-interventionist. Posing a challenge to hawkish foreign policy adopted by the Republican Party, and to Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State, Trump ascended to the White House. But he has since surrounded himself with individuals such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, many of whom share the aggressive foreign policy outlook of George W. Bush.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump recently acknowledged that he often “tempers” with Bolton, who has long-advocated a military confrontation with Iran. Some opined that Bolton-lead escalations against the country are reminiscent of the Iraq War. The administration is escalating tensions with Venezuela as well, backing self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has thus far failed to deliver on the military coup he had promised.
With the odds of military escalation with Iran and Venezuela growing, some of the president’s backers are expressing fear that the non-interventionist portion of Trump’s base could feel alienated, potentially causing problems ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to a new report from The Washington Examiner.
“Non-interventionists are an important part of his coalition everywhere, but I think they are most important where the margins are tightest,” explained political operative Jesse Benton. “There are a lot of blue collar and middle class voters who are sick of all the wars,” he added.
“The president is the counterweight to some of his more hawkish staff members, particularly Bolton,” former Trump White House staffer Fernando Cutz said. According to individuals briefed on the matter, Trump’s is the lone non-interventionist voice in the West Wing, and the unpredictable president is often at odds with his own advisers.
Bolton’s ambitions—which play well to Trump’s mix of xenophobia and narcissism—are getting us in a lot of trouble. https://t.co/lRnSWQipYM
— Slate (@Slate) May 11, 2019
Trump is, however, aware of the stakes and of the potential negative backlash wars with Iran and Venezuela would cause, according to a former White House official, who said that there “will be posturing,” but not war.
“Trump believes we should not be getting involved in foreign wars. I also think he realizes that his political success is in part tied to that,” the official said.
According to another former White House official who spoke to the Washington Examiner, although Bolton and others appear to be influential, Trump has frequently sought outside advice, so the chances of the United States going to war with Iran or Venezuela are not as high as they seem.
Furthermore, according to individuals briefed on the matter, Trump and those close to him are aware that the base would likely oppose military interventions.
As the publication notes, although Trump has not started any new wars, he has continued and escalated many Obama-era conflicts.