Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is as Republican as they come, but even he couldn’t allow Newsmax host Eric Bolling to pin the Afghanistan withdrawal entirely on President Joe Biden.
As a result, Bolton got Bolling all riled up during a segment Thursday night when Bolling asked Bolton about his 2020 quote to ABC News. Bolton said to the outlet at the time that the U.S. is “in a weaker position around the world” as a result of Trump’s foreign policy, before adding, “I think we have given up leadership in a wide variety of areas.”
Bolling then asked Bolton how he thought the world was safer now than when “we were under President Trump when he was willing to put a missile into Syrian airbases with Russians on the base? What’s going on here, sir?”
If Bolling expected Bolton to run with the Biden-bashing bone, he was sorely mistaken.
“[Trump] didn’t understand fundamentally much of anything about international affairs. His decisions were not based on a coherent philosophy or a coherent policy,” Bolton explained.
“But we were safer,” Bolling added.
The two continued talking over each other with Bolton attempting to remind Bolling that Trump made the deal with the Taliban that led to the Afghanistan withdrawal.
“Did that make us safer, Eric?” Bolton asked.
Bolling insisted Trump kept the Taliban on their back heels, which prompted Bolton to shake his head in protest. Bolling then tried to blame the Afghanistan withdrawal solely on Biden.
“That was Trump’s deal,” Bolton told Bolling, before adding, “Same thing they would’ve done under Donald Trump. Who cut the deal, Eric?”
“I really believe the Taliban wants to do something to show that we’re not all wasting time,” Trump said shortly after he signed the agreement, The New York Times reported. “If bad things happen, we’ll go back.”
Biden drew criticism for the withdrawal last year from both Republicans and Democrats, according to the New York Times. “I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit,” Biden said in a speech at the time.
More conversation followed before Bolton suggested Bolling “read the deal.”
He added: “I know you gotta go before you’re embarrassed even further,”
Watch the complete exchange below.
When John Bolton says on Newsmax that we are safer under Biden then we would have been under Trump, the host loses his mind and they have an epic battle. I know people hate Bolton, but this is fantastic - he debunks every fake narrative they created about his foreign policy. pic.twitter.com/GdSr6pcfdv
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) August 12, 2022
As you might expect, many Twitter users had thoughts about the fiery exchange.
I disagree with almost everything John Bolton has ever said or done, but it’s something to watch him eviscerate Newsmax (and disgraced ex-Fox News host) Eric Bolling’s fact-free talking points and even laugh at him. Perhaps Bolling’s Trumpesque makeup has seeped into his brain. https://t.co/ZIYJpYQgYr
— Stephen Schwartz (@AtomicAnalyst) August 12, 2022
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) August 12, 2022
THE HISSY FIT
Then That Thing on Bolton's lip gave it an nasty stare
Then That Thing on Trump's head responded with an evil hiss
Then That Thing on Bolton's lip moved menacingly
Then That Thing on Trump's head crouched in anticipation
Then That Thing on Bolton's lip started https://t.co/VxYAIPBqgvpic.twitter.com/1Usfi8uWct
— Tomi T Ahonen Desperately Hiding Nuclear Documents (@tomiahonen) August 12, 2022
Eric Bolling knows better than the former NSA. Got it. https://t.co/j2VQHQlo1C
— Jim Swift (@JimSwiftDC) August 12, 2022
Never thought I would say "well done John Bolton," but here we are. https://t.co/syam54diSW
— Max Steiner for Congress (@MaxSteinerCA) August 12, 2022
i see eric bolling is now using trump's make up person https://t.co/Q1x5qZiY1A
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) August 12, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.