President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Thursday, Feb. 28 in Hanoi. At front right is Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief. At left is national security adviser John Bolton. | AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
National security adviser John Bolton defended President Donald Trump in the wake of the failed nuclear weapons summit with North Korea last week.
“I think it was unquestionably a success for the United States because the president protected, defended American interests,” Bolton said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” of the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.Story Continued Below
Rejecting the narrative that failing to secure a deal meant the summit was a failure, Bolton similarly told “Fox News Sunday” that the president advanced American national security interests during the summit and rejected “a bad deal.”
“I think he made a very important point to North Korea and to other countries around the world about negotiating with him,” Bolton said. “He’s not desperate for a deal. Not with North Korea, not with anybody, if it’s contrary to American national interests.”
Bolton’s defense of the Trump administration comes after the United States and North Korean officials offered competing versions of what was demanded during the summit in Vietnam.
Trump said Kim Jong Un demanded complete relief from sanctions in exchange for incremental progress toward denuclearization, while North Korean representatives disputed that account.
“If you can’t get a good deal, and the president offered North Korea the best deal it could possibly get, no deal is better than a bad deal,” Bolton said Sunday on CNN.
The United States’ objective of making sure North Korea gets rid of its nuclear arsenal is still the policy of the administration, Bolton said.
“What [the president] has said from the beginning, that North Korea, if it makes a strategic decision to denuclearize, can have the prospect of a very, very bright economic future,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“The president held that door open for North Korea in Singapore, they didn’t walk through it,” he added, referring to the first North Korea summit. “He held it open for them again in Hanoi, they didn’t walk through. He’s ready to hold it open again.”
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