Trump â€œbarely knew where Ukraine wasâ€ and once asked if Finland was part of Russia, Bolton told Newsmax host Rob Schmitt on Tuesday.
Bolton recalled Trumpâ€™s stunning lack of knowledge while countering Schmittâ€™s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not invade Ukraine during Trumpâ€™s presidency because Trump took a â€œvery tough stanceâ€ on the country.
â€œThere is something to be said, though, about the simple fact that there was not aggression during the four years,â€ Schmitt told Bolton. â€œI mean, you were part of that administration as well and there was not aggression from Russia, and they waited him out, it seems, and made a move.â€
Trump â€œdid notâ€ take a tough stance on Russia, responded Bolton.
The Trump White House had sanctioned Russia, he continued, but â€œin almost every caseâ€ the restrictions were imposed â€œwith Trump complaining about it, saying we were being too hard.â€
â€œThe fact is that he barely knew where Ukraine was. He once asked John Kelly, his second chief of staff, if Finland were a part of Russia,â€ Bolton added. â€œIt is just not accurate to say that Trumpâ€™s behavior somehow deterred the Russians. I think the evidence is that Russia didnâ€™t feel that their military was ready.â€
Bolton failed to speak out against Trump during the 17 months he served in his administration, even remaining silent during Trumpâ€™s first impeachment for misconduct in the Ukraine scandal, only to pen a critical memoir of the former president which the Department of Justice attempted to block.