Former Donald Trump advisor John Bolton, didn’t hold back his opinions on the former president’s glowering mug shot, which was released after his booking in connection with the Georgia election interference case. During a candid interview on CNN, Bolton criticized Trump’s expression, labeling it far from benign and more reminiscent of a “thug.”
“He could’ve smiled. He could’ve looked benign. Instead he looks like a thug,” Bolton said.
Bolton, who had a significant role as a national security adviser during the Trump administration, also provided a perspective on the carefully staged nature of the image. He pointed out that such orchestrated visuals were a hallmark of Trump’s approach, suggesting that the mugshot could be construed as an attempt to exert pressure on both prosecutors and judges involved in the case, setting a tone of intimidation.
“I think it’s intended to be a sign of intimidation against the prosecutors and the judges,” he told CNN.
Taking aim at the broader political landscape, Bolton didn’t shy away from lambasting a majority of the Republicans vying for the presidential nomination. Following a recent debate, where six out of eight contenders indicated their unwavering support for Trump even if he were to clinch the primary and subsequently face conviction, Bolton expressed his strong disapproval.
“I think there were six wrong answers and two right answers,” Bolton stated. “You cannot believe in a law-and-order philosophy and say it applies to everybody except Donald Trump.”
The former Trump advisor added that any individual with a criminal conviction should step down from their political aspirations. He went further, advocating for a rule within the Republican National Committee that enforces the removal of any convicted candidate from the party’s ticket.
Bolton, who had previously disclosed voting for Trump in the 2016 election, took a different route in the 2020 election by casting his vote for a conservative alternative. He added that he would do the same next year if Trump is the Republican nominee.
See the full conversation below from CNN.