In an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network event, moderator John Bussey asked Bolton to clarify the contradictory messages issued by the White House on North Korea and Iran in recent weeks amid reports of infighting in the Trump administration.
Bolton responded by blaming foreign countries and the US media for the discord in the White House.
“We have substantial reason to believe that North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China have made a decision to … try to sow disinformation about the administration, and to say that the president and his advisers are divided, and things like that,” Bolton said.
He then attacked American media describing journalists working in US news networks as “the stenographers of these regimes in the American press” spreading stories about administrative discord.
Bussey protested to this blatant attack on the journalists, saying, “That’s unfair!”
Bolton insisted, “No it’s not, actually.” He then jumped to comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Zarif, in past months, named what he calls a “B team” of advisers, comprised of Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who pursued “regime-change in Iran.
Iran’s top diplomat said that the Bolton-led B-team were pushing US President Donald Trump into conflict with Iran.
In his comments on Tuesday, Bolton further played down discord in the White House, saying it was normal to have disagreements among government officials.
“Here’s the truth: There are disagreements within allied governments on foreign policy, too,” Bolton said. “That’s how it works. The president in our system makes the final decisions. I like to say and it’s completely accurate, I’m the national security adviser, I’m not the national security decision-maker.”
For years, Bolton has been a sworn anti-Iran blustering mouth-piece advocating regime change and even preemptive strikes against the Iranian nation. In addition to Trump, other top officials in the administration have been at odds with Bolton, including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Trump and Pompeo have called for negotiations with Iran.
Bolton, who is notorious for his hawkish foreign policy and anti-Iran stance, has very close ties with Netanyahu.
It is known that he has formed an anti-Iran alliance with several wealthy Persian Gulf Arab states, as well.