John Bolton Says Putin Isn’t Unstable — He’s A ‘Cold, Hard, Calculating Man’

“I know there are a lot of theories and speculation going around that Putin has a screw loose,” Bolton told the BBC. “I don’t think so. I think he’s a cold, hard, calculating man.”

Bolton said Putin is likely “irritated” at the performance of the Russian military thus far, and that he’ll try to double down to save face.

“He has to try to show military victory,” Bolton said. “I don’t think there’s a negotiated way to end this.”

Bolton also criticized NATO’s decision not to get involved militarily but to supply Ukraine with weapons and intelligence. He argued this will do little to deter Russia.

“If Putin wanted a pretext to say that NATO was committing aggression against Russia in this conflict, or that NATO was a party to this conflict, he’s already got it,” Bolton said.

“In a second Trump term, I think he may well have withdrawn from NATO,” Bolton said. “And I think Putin was waiting for that.”

Trump appointed Bolton as national security adviser in 2018. He was fired less than a year later.

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