CNN Dismisses John Bolton as TV Personality Hired as National Security Adviser; ‘Fox News Analyst’

In the immediate aftermath of The New York Times and President Donald Trump announcing the removal of H.R. McMaster and hiring of former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton as National Security Adviser, CNN’s The Situation Room maligned Bolton as merely a “Fox News Analyst” and TV personality.

The initial CNN chyron read: “Breaking News: Trump Replaces National Security Adviser McMaster with Fox News Analyst John Bolton,” but it was tweaked coincidently after a commercial break with “Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.” However, screen-caps live forever, CNN!

 

 

Along with screen-caps, transcripts and videos live forever too. After senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny broke the news to viewers, host Wolf Blitzer reacted by footnoting Bolton’s past as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and turned to former Obama administration official Samantha Vinograd. 

Ironically, he teed up the revolving door beneficiary by emphasizing Bolton’s job at Fox News:

John Bolton, very well known. He's a Fox News contributor. He's a hardliner when it comes to North Korea, when it comes to Iran. I'm a little surprised, only a little surprised, because he was a major supporter of the war against Iraq and back in 2003, and of course, the first Gulf War. And the President, as you well know, says those wars were a disaster. 

Vinograd predictably trashed the President for failing to listen to outgoing National Security Adviser and “lame duck” H.R. McMaster and replacing him with “loud hawk, John Bolton.”

“He views regime change and military action as the preferred policy tool. But his going in is a red herring if President Trump doesn't start actually listening to his national security team,” she added.

As if he were Brian Stelter, Blitzer responded by not focusing on Bolton’s job at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) or a plethora of jobs in the prior three Republican administrations: “Clearly the President, Rebecca, liked what he heard from John Bolton, not only in his one-on-one meetings with him, but what he heard very often on Fox News.”

CNN Politics reporter Rebecca Berg joined in, ruling that “it helps...to be a visible presence on Fox News” because Trump “gets many of his ideas, policy-wise, from what he watches on Fox News, sees on television, and he compliments lawmakers, other public figures who he sees on Fox News about their appearances.”

Blitzer continued by smearing Bolton as one of many “TV personalities” hired by the President:

Clearly, the President likes individuals who are TV personalities. At the same time, Larry Kudlow, a longtime contributor on CNBC, is going to be chief economic adviser to the President of the United States. He wants people who can go on television and make the case. That's why he's bringing in, at least in part, John Bolton to be his National Security Adviser.

Going back to Vinograd for more opposition, she hammered Bolton as someone who will be “going into this role with a distaste for diplomacy as a national security tool” as “[h]e's made no secret that he views regime change as the most effective mechanism in North Korea and in Iran.” 

Just last week when the President hired Larry Kudlow as National Economic Council director, CNN smeared him as a “TV personality” hired to satisfy Trump’s “feedback loop” while ignoring the 30-plus officials who were part of the revolving door between the media and Obama administration. If it weren’t for double standards, the liberal media wouldn’t have standards.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on March 22, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
March 22, 2018
6:31 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: A few weeks ago, we reported here on CNN that General McMaster would be out by the end of this month, by the end of March. Clearly, that happened. We also reported that John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., was one of the candidates being considered seriously by the President. Jeff Zeleny, I want you to stand by. Let's bring in our panel and get some analysis. Samantha Vinograd, you used to work on the National Security Council during the Obama administration. John Bolton, very well known. He's a Fox News contributor. He's a hardliner when it comes to North Korea, when it comes to Iran. I'm a little surprised, only a little surprised, because he was a major supporter of the war against Iraq and back in 2003, and of course, the first Gulf War. And the President, as you well know, says those wars were a disaster. 

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD: He does, but I think the real question here, Wolf, is whether President Trump is going to start listening to his National Security Adviser. McMaster has been a lame duck for weeks. There has been so many rumors about when he's going to be leaving, so I don't think anyone was really taking him seriously. We're now replacing a lame duck with potentially a loud hawk, John Bolton. He views regime change and military action as the preferred policy tool. But his going in is a red herring if President Trump doesn't start actually listening to his national security team. So that's the outstanding question to me and only after we know that can we start dissecting what John Bolton is going to do policy wise. 

BLITZER: Clearly the President, Rebecca, liked what he heard from John Bolton, not only in his one-on-one meetings with him, but what he heard very often on Fox News. 

REBECCA BERG: Right, it helps, of course, in this administration to be a visible presence on Fox News. The President, as we know, gets many of his ideas, policy wise, from what he watches on Fox News, sees on television, and he compliments lawmakers, other public figures who he sees on Fox News about their appearances. We know that and so he likely did see John Bolton on Fox. But he also has been an informal adviser to this President. So the President’s been hearing from him directly. He's been hearing from him indirectly on Fox and now he's going to be hearing from him directly every day as National Security Adviser. 

BLITZER: Clearly, the President likes individuals who are TV personalities. At the same time, Larry Kudlow, a longtime contributor on CNBC, is going to be chief economic adviser to the President of the United States. He wants people who can go on television and make the case. That's why he's bringing in, at least in part, John Bolton to be his National Security Adviser.

(....)

BLITZER: David Swerdlick, you've been watching all of this unfold. John Bolton, once again, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush administration. Now tapped to replace general McMaster as the President's National Security Adviser. He's a hardliner, and he's a hardliner not only on North Korea and Iran, but on Russia, as well. And I wonder how that will fit into the President's refusal to be a hardliner when it comes to Russia. His refusal to say anything negative about Putin, for example. 

(....)

BLITZER: You know, you worked on the National Security Council, Sam. You understand the role of the National Security Adviser. John Bolton does not need Senate confirmation to get this job. He just walks in, he gets the job. Describe to our viewers how important this job is. 

VINOGRAD: Sure and Wolf, it's worth mentioning, that Bolton couldn't get confirmed by the Senate under President Bush, I believe it was a recess appointment when he was appointed to the United Nations. But the National Security Adviser is there to listen to every part of what we call the interagency. The State Department, the United Nations, the Defense Department, the intelligence community. We know that John Bolton is going into this role with a distaste for diplomacy as a national security tool. He's made no secret that he views regime change as the most effective mechanism in North Korea and in Iran. So if he wants to, for example, put only regime change options forward to the President, he can control what discussions happen in the situation room, what information gets to the president, and who has the President's ear and that's really disturbing. 

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