John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s fired national security adviser, harshly criticized Trump’s foreign policy on Wednesday at a private lunch, saying inviting the Taliban to Camp David sent a “terrible signal” and that it was “disrespectful” to the victims of 9/11 because the Taliban had harbored al Qaeda.
Bolton also said that any negotiations with North Korea and Iran were “doomed to failure,” according to two attendees.
“He ripped Trump, without using his name, several times,” said one attendee. Bolton didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bolton also said more than once that Trump’s failure to respond to the Iranian attack on an American drone earlier this summer set the stage for the Islamic Republic’s aggression in recent months.
At one point, Bolton, a previous chairman of Gatestone, suggested that had the U.S. retaliated for the drone shootdown, Iran might not have damaged the Saudi oil fields.
After the attack in June, Trump was poised to launch a military response against the Iranians -- strongly urged by Bolton -- but pulled back after Fox News host Tucker Carlson and others warned him that it was a bad idea.
During Wednesday’s luncheon, Bolton said the planned response had gone through the full process and everybody in the White House had agreed on the retaliatory strike.
But “a high authority, at the very last minute," without telling anyone, decided not to do it, Bolton complained.
Billionaire Rebekah Mercer introduced Bolton as “the best national security adviser our country could have hoped for,” garnering her very loud applause.
During the Q&A session, Dershowitz told the crowd that it was “a national disaster” that Bolton had been booted from the White House, to what the attendee described as “thunderous applause.”