John Bolton Says Trump Aims to 'Tear Apart' the GOP as Their Feud Continues

Former national security adviser John Bolton has said that Donald Trump's attacks on senior GOP figures shows that the president's ambition in the final weeks of his presidency is to "tear apart his party."

Bolton was fired from the Trump administration in September 2019, and penned an explosive memoir of his time in the White House, The Room Where It Happened, which pulled no punches in his criticism of the outgoing president.

On Saturday, Bolton shared on Twitter a CNN article that focused on Trump's attack on Sen. John Thune, the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate.

Trump started the New Year by tweeting how he would like to see South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem take on Thune in the 2022 primary and that "South Dakota wants strong leadership, NOW!" Trump also described the Senate majority whip as a "RINO" —the derogatory term that stands for "Republicans In Name Only."

Responding to the remarks on Saturday, Bolton tweeted: "Apparently, @realdonaldtrump's last goal is to tear apart his party. He's lighting the torch to his own political funeral pyre by attacking Republicans who dare not kiss his ring."

Apparently, @realdonaldtrump's last goal is to tear apart his party. He's lighting the torch to his own political funeral pyre by attacking Republicans who dare not kiss his ring.

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) January 2, 2021

Trump has taken exception to Thune's comment last month that a challenge to the Electoral College results he disputes would "go down like a shot dog."

Trump's attack on Thune came just days before a joint session of Congress is set to formally certify the Electoral College results that gave President-elect Joe Biden victory and which some of his allies want to overturn.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has said that he would object to the Electoral College votes. There also could be as many as 140 House Republicans who back such a move.

Hawley said that he has not decided how many states' results he would oppose, telling reporters on Friday, "I haven't worked out the mechanism yet."

With election officials rejecting Trump's claims of election fraud, Bolton has repeatedly called on Republican Party leaders to speak up against Trump and help it get on with the transition to the Joe Biden administration.

Bolton described Trump's veto on the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as "very destructive" and "terribly harmful" to national security, telling CNN last month that it was a "compelling piece of evidence (of) why Trump is not a conservative."

There is no love lost between the pair. A recent spat involved Bolton calling Trump "unfit for the job" on CNN over reports the president was considering a proposal to implement martial law—as mooted by another ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn—and to "rerun" the presidential election under military supervision.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton at Duke University on February 17, 2020, in Durham, North Carolina. He says Donald Trump wants to "tear apart his party" in the final weeks of his presidency. Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Trump hit back, describing Bolton as "one of the dumbest people in Washington," in a tweet on December 20 which said: "Wasn't he the person who so stupidly said, on television, 'Libyan solution', when describing what the U.S. was going to do for North Korea?"

The 'Libyan solution' Bolton mentioned was referring to former ruler Moammar Gadhafi abandoning his country's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

But Bolton was criticized for the reference because Gaddafi was overthrown by rebels backed by the U.S. and NATO even after he decommissioned his nuclear arsenal.

"I've got plenty of other Bolton 'stupid stories,'" Trump added.