John Bolton and former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice seem to be best friends pushing the same narrative during the Sunday shows. This is not the first time the two have teamed up, they appeared together at Vanderbilt University earlier this year.
The front runner in the Joe Biden running mate sweepstakes, Susan Rice was asked by NBC News Andrea Mitchell about the Russian bounty story.
Mitchell asked, “on this 4th of July weekend, the story of the Russian intelligence, the intelligence that Russia organized bounties for, to target American soldiers and coalition officers in Afghanistan. The president has now referred to this as a hoax. What message does that send to Vladimir Putin?”
Rice responded: “Well, Andrea, the message to Vladimir Putin is, “You can kill American servicemen and women with absolute impunity.” This is an extraordinary revelation. The president of the United States has demonstrated absolutely callous disregard for the safety and security of American forces in a war zone. And there’s no explanation for this. Why, ten days after the story was first published and the president’s claiming he hadn’t been briefed, has he not come out and said to the American people, “My top priority is to protect our men and women in uniform. And I will get to the bottom of this intelligence. I will figure out why it is that Russia appears to be targeting our forces. And I will give the American people and the soldiers the appropriate response that it deserves”? He’s said nothing. And, Andrea, I don’t buy this story that he was never briefed. I believe that over a year ago, when the information first came to light in 2019, that my successor John Bolton would have walked straight into the Oval Office, as I would have, and informed the president of this intelligence. You don’t wait until you have 100% certainty. You tell the Commander-in-chief what he needs to know when he needs to know it. And so now they’re claiming, “Well, he wasn’t told.” Well, if that’s the case, then maybe these advisors in 2020, when the information came back, again failed to tell him. I wouldn’t doubt that because they’re scared of him, I believe. But the point is our servicemen and women are in a war zone, vulnerable. We have credible information that suggests that the Russians and maybe Putin himself are trying to kill American service members, and the president calls it a hoax.”
Not too long after Susan Rice made the remarks, John Bolton just so happened to appear on Face the Nation aired on CBS, host, Margaret Brennan asked Trump’s former National Security Advisor about Rice’s comments.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I want to narrow in on this because this morning, I just want to make sure, you know, this morning Susan Rice, the national security adviser to President Obama went on television on another network and said the information came to light in 2019 when you were in the job, and she believed you would have told the president. Is she wrong? Did you know about that?
BOLTON: Well, I’ve said in countless other interviews, I’m not going to disclose classified information. I’ve got the struggle with the president trying to repress my book on that score already. I will say this. All intelligence is distributed along the spectrum of uncertainty. And this intelligence in 2020, by the administration’s own admission, was deemed credible enough to give to our allies. So the notion that you only give the really completely 100 percent verified intelligence to the president would mean you give him almost nothing. And that’s just not the way the system works. And it’s certainly not a decision made only by the briefer who briefs the president twice a week. That’s a decision that at least when I was there, would have been made by the director of national intelligence, the director of the CIA, myself and the briefer together.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. Well, I mean, this information that Russia was providing weapons and money to the Taliban was made public in 2018 by the then Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. So you may have known about it when you were in that job. I’m wondering if you are in your remarks today, sort of politely saying that the current national security adviser failed in his job.
BOLTON: Look, I’m- I’m not going- I don’t want to make this a matter of personalities, and by the way, what was made public in 2018 was Russian assistance to the Taliban, and that’s been known for some time. That alone is troubling. What is particularly troubling, if true, is this latest information that they were killing- they were providing compensation for killing Americans. And that is the kind of thing that- that you go to the president on and say, look, this president heads u, we may not know everything on this, but a nuclear power is reportedly providing bounties to kill Americans. That’s the kind of thing you need to have in the president’s view so that he can think about it as he develops- well, at least as normal presidents develop strategy to handle Russia, to handle Afghanistan.