Matt Gaetz Says Bolton Was Trump Admin's Mascot 'Used to Troll Iran'

Congressman Matt Gaetz said John Bolton was a "mascot" used by the Trump administration to "troll" Iran, and claimed the former national security adviser was routinely ignored.

The Florida Republican, a close ally of Trump, told Fox News on Sunday night that Bolton wanted to "invade everywhere" and represented an "America Last" vision of conservatism.

"I think John Bolton has been involved in ten out of the last three wars, and would probably start four more of them by lunchtime tomorrow if he could," Gaetz said on Steve Hilton's The Next Revolution show.

"He was largely a mascot in the Trump administration used to troll Iran. His advice was never taken, and so he was resentful."

After railing against Bolton's view of conservatism, the Florida congressman said: "My suggestion is that we rally to this America First vision, it will prevail over the America Last views of [Bill] Kristol and Bolton."

Posting a clip of his Fox News appearance on social media, Gaetz added that Bolton represented "a vision of conservatism that would have us invade everywhere and invite everyone."

Newsweek has contacted a representative of Bolton for comment.

Ex-U.N. ambassador Bolton's controversial White House memoir The Room Where It Happened was published on Tuesday last week despite the White House's attempts to block its release.

The book made headlines over allegations that appeared to undermine Trump's image as a China hawk and portrayed the commander-in-chief as ignorant of world affairs.

Bolton most notably alleged that Trump alluded to "China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns" at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka last year, effectively asking Beijing for help in the 2020 election.

The former Trump adviser further alleged that the president supported Beijing's creation of camps for Uighur Muslims, and rejected a suggestion that the administration publish a statement on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the allegations in Bolton's memoir, and dubbed its author an incompetent "wacko" shortly after The Wall Street Journal published an extract from the book.

"Wacko John Bolton's 'exceedingly tedious' (New York Times) book is made up of lies & fake stories," Trump tweeted earlier this month.

"Said all good about me, in print, until the day I fired him. A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war. Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped. What a dope!"

Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz (R-FL) delivers remarks during the House Judiciary Committee markup of the "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020," on June 17, 2020. Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images