Tags: Rand Paul | rand paul | john bolton | state department | dangerous

Rand Paul: Keep 'Dangerous' John Bolton Away From State


By    |   Wednesday, 14 December 2016 12:16 PM

Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton is "dangerous" and should not be anywhere near the State Department, Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday.

Paul vowed to block Bolton if President-elect Donald Trump nominates him as a deputy secretary of state.

"I'm trying to think of a nice word, but I can't think of a nice word," the Kentucky Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, after he was prompted to play a word association game about Bolton. "What I would say is he's dangerous."

Bolton, Paul continued, has a "naive understanding of the world and I don't want him anywhere near the State Department."

"He's an unrepentant advocate of regime change and the Iraq War, and hasn't learned any of the lessons of the last two decades."

Back in 2003, when Bolton was the United States' ambassador to the United Nations, he promoted a "false assumption" about weapons of mass destruction and promised a quick war, Paul said, and "he's still promoting the same thing."

"He says the Iraq War was justified and he'd do it again," Paul said. "Not only that, he's promoting the same kind of thing for Iran. He would bomb Iran and has said it repeatedly over and over again. His only argument is we didn't bomb them soon enough. He [says he] would still bomb Iran and it would be a cake walk, we would be greeted as liberators. We would have embassies open. It's a naive understanding and we don't need any more of that."

Meanwhile, Paul said he does not know many of Trump's other nominees personally, including secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson or retired Gens. James Mattis and John Kelly.

"From what I've read, Mattis is an intellectual," Paul said. "He's a warrior. Also, there are many people who have been in combat who actually have a healthy distrust of combat. You know, one of my favorite quotes is from Eisenhower who said, 'I hate war only like a soldier who can hate war.' I hope Mattis is of that belief."

Kelly's son died in combat, and Paul said he does not think either Kelly or Mattis are "people who are eager for wanton combat or wanton killing."

As far as Tillerson is concerned, Paul told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" later Wednesday morning that he's willing to keep an open mind.

"It is unfair to prejudge Mr. Tillerson and think because he had good relations in making deals around the world, that that somehow makes him an unfit candidate," Paul said. "It may be the opposite. Having good relations with world leaders and being able to negotiate with them is what you want in your chief diplomat."

Paul also commented about the battle for Aleppo during the MSNBC interview, saying it is impossible to look at images and not feel how horrible the conditions are, but instead of wondering why the United States has not done more to stop the carnage, he wonders why so many promises were not met.

"We did make promises, and maybe false promises that we were going to come in and make the world right, make the world safe for democracy," Paul said, adding that those promises gave "false expectations" to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"At the same time there were a lot of down side to pushing Assad back," Paul said. "That's where ISIS grew in that space . . . I don't know that there's an easy solution now what to do but I think we could have done something different four, five, six years ago than what we did."

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Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton is "dangerous" and should not be anywhere near the State Department, Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday.
rand paul, john bolton, state department, dangerous
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 12:16 PM
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