During a CNN appearance on Tuesday, former national security adviser John Bolton admitted to planning coups d’etat against foreign governments, telling host Jake Tapper that “it takes a lot of work.”
Bolton’s stunning admission came as he offered an analysis of Tuesday’s hearing in front of the Jan. 6 House select committee, which is investigating former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and remain in power.
“One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup,” Tapper said to Bolton.
“I disagree with that,” Bolton replied. “As somebody who has helped plan coups d’etat ― not here but, you know, other places ― it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what [Trump] did. It was just stumbling around from one idea to another. Ultimately, he did unleash the rioters at the Capitol. As to that, there is no doubt.”
Tapper asked Bolton which particular coups he had helped plan. The only specific example Bolton provided was the Trump administration’s efforts to support Venezuelan opposition as it tried to dislodge President Nicolas Maduro from power ― a plot Bolton noted “turned out not to be successful.”
“Not that we had all that much to do with it, but I saw what it took for an opposition to try to overturn an illegally elected president, and they failed,” Bolton said. “The notion that Donald Trump was half as competent as the Venezuelan opposition is laughable.”
“I feel like there’s other stuff you’re not telling me, though,” Tapper said.
“I’m sure there is,” Bolton replied with a chuckle.
The United States, along with the European Union and numerous other countries and international organizations, regarded Maduro’s 2018 reelection in Venezuela as fraudulent and illegitimate. The U.S. and dozens of other nations ultimately recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president and supported the opposition’s efforts to remove Maduro from power.
The United States has explicitly or implicitly supported and aided numerous coups and other regime change plots across the world ― and has faced allegations that it has supported even more.
The efforts in Venezuela failed and Maduro is still in power.
Jake Tapper: "One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup."
John Bolton: "I disagree with that. As somebody who has helped plan coup d’etat, not here, but other places, it takes a lot of work." pic.twitter.com/REyqh3KtHi
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 12, 2022