John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former White House national security adviser, said on Tuesday that he had helped plan attempted coups in foreign countries.
Bolton made the remarks to CNN after the day’s congressional hearing into the Jan 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The panel’s lawmakers on Tuesday accused former President Donald Trump of inciting the violence to remain in power after losing the 2020 election. Trump, in turn, has long maintained he has been battling voter fraud that cost him the win.
Speaking to CNN anchor Jake Tapper, however, Bolton suggested Trump was capable of a “carefully planned coup d’etat,” later adding: “As somebody who has helped plan coups d’etat – not here but you know (in) other places – it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he (Trump) did.”
Tapper asked Bolton which attempts he was referring to.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics,” Bolton said, before mentioning Venezuela. “It turned out not to be successful. Not that we had all that much to do with it but I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president and they failed,” he said.
In 2019, Bolton as national security adviser publicly supported Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call for the military to back his effort to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro, arguing that Maduro’s re-election was illegitimate. Ultimately Maduro remained in power.
“I feel like there’s other stuff you’re not telling me (beyond Venezuela),” the CNN anchor said, prompting a reply from Bolton: “I’m sure there is.”