And Mr. Trump, distracted by the truth that his former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, was testifying again in Washington concerning the president’s non-public monetary and private dealings, is determined to announce one thing, something, that can appear sufficiently big to drive Mr. Cohen off the entrance pages.
“Trump asked me how we could be ‘sanctioning the economy of a country that’s 7,000 miles away,’’’ Mr. Bolton recalls. “I answered, ‘Because they are building nuclear weapons and missiles that can kill Americans.’”
“That’s a good point,” the president agreed. As Mr. Bolton recalled, it was simply “another day at the office.”
The largest threat in American international coverage, he concluded, was the president undercutting his personal administration’s insurance policies, what he phrases “the split between Trump and Trump.”
All of this could have been predictable to Mr. Bolton, who had met Mr. Trump on the White House on a number of events because the president thought-about changing Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, with whom he had by no means seen eye-to-eye. Mr. Trump had been impressed by Mr. Bolton’s powerful discuss on Fox News, the place he was a commentator. (This was lengthy earlier than Mr. Trump was declaring, as he did in an indignant tweet the opposite day, that Mr. Bolton was “a washed-up guy” when he employed him.)
Mr. Trump, in keeping with Mr. Bolton’s account in “The Room Where It Happened,” instructed his newly-hired nationwide safety adviser early on that he had assured Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that “if he uses force” in opposition to Iran, “I will back him.” He requested Mr. Bolton to strengthen the message throughout one in all his first official journeys to Israel.
But it was unclear what Mr. Trump meant by “back him” — and whether or not that help can be largely rhetorical or whether or not it meant the United States would supply army reinforcements if a battle with Iran escalated. The Obama administration had despatched Mr. Netanyahu a way more certified message: that it could help Israel if it was attacked by Iran, however shouldn’t be counted on to enter a battle if Mr. Netanyahu started it with a unilateral army strike, taken with out prior settlement with the United States.