U.S. President Donald Trump launched an attack against former National Security Adviser John Bolton after a federal judge denied the Trump administration’s attempt to block Bolton’s forthcoming memoir. In a series of tweets, the president said Bolton “likes dropping bombs on people,” accused him of breaking the law, and attempted to paint the judge’s decision as a win for the Trump administration. The messages were met with backlash from social media users and pundits who said that Trump carries the blame for hiring Bolton.
“Wow, I finally agree with failed political consultant Steve Schmidt, who called Wacko John Bolton ‘a despicable man who failed in his duty to protect America,'” tweeted Trump, adding that Bolton “was all washed up until I brought him back and gave him a chance, broke the law by releasing Classified Information (in massive amounts).”
Trump then added that Bolton should be forced to pay.
“BIG COURT WIN against Bolton,” Trump added an hour later.
The president wrote that while the book had already been released to the media and reviewers, so the judge was forced to allow it to be published, Bolton had broken the law and was “called out and rebuked for so doing.”
“He likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!” he concluded.
People responded that Trump should be mad at himself for hiring the former security adviser and accused him of trying to gaslight people by painting the situation as a win for the Trump administration.
“YOU HIRED HIM! are you saying that you are so incompetent that you could not properly vet and interview someone?” wrote Howard Forman, a health expert and former Senate staffer.
Economist David Rothschild wondered why Trump was bragging about hiring Bolton because he was known to be a “disloyal, greedy, cowardly loser” before the president took him on.
It’s not the first time that Trump has been accused of making poor hiring decisions. On Friday, former Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that the commander-in-chief didn’t “hire very well” early on because he lacked experience in government.
Others posted political cartoons about the situation.
Not everyone was critical of Trump’s messages. Some came to the president’s defense, saying that while Trump hired Bolton, he also fired him and accusing Bolton of holding a grudge against the president.
The Justice Department sued to prevent the release of Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened, saying that it contained information that should be kept classified. In the ruling approving the book’s publication, the judge said that the Trump administration didn’t show that limiting the book’s publication would prevent harm since it had already been released.
The judge scolded Bolton, saying that he was playing with national security and could have exposed the country or himself to harm.