Trump made a big mistake. National security adviser John Bolton Sunday distanced himself from President Trump’s decision to side with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who denied involvement in the death of US college student Otto Warmbier. Asked if he believes the North Korea dictator as well, Bolton told CNN’s “State of the Union:” “The president takes him at his word. My opinion doesn’t matter.” Bolton, a foreign policy hawk, said he’s no longer a “Fox News contributor” who will pontificate from the sidelines.
“I don’t do that anymore,” Bolton said. “I give my advice to the president. I give my opinions to the president. He makes up his own mind. That’s why he’s president.” Bolton brushed off the flurry of North Korean experts who believe Kim would have full knowledge of what happened to a high-profile US prisoner. “Good for them,” Bolton said.
Trump shocked Washington and upset the Warmbier family when he said he didn’t condemn Kim for the death of Warmbier, the 22-year-old who was imprisoned in North Korea in 2016 and died the following year being returned to the US in a vegetative state. “He tells me that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word,” Trump said during a news conference last week in Vietnam.