Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, is urging President Donald Trump to pick former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton as his national security adviser, following retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation from the post earlier this week.
“One person I think would be very, very strong is John Bolton,” Cruz told CNN’s Manu Raju Friday. “He’s someone who understands the world; he understands the threats of radical Islamic terrorism.”
While choosing Bolton, who served as former President George W. Bush’s UN ambassador during the Iraq War, would win a lot conservative support, some Republicans — especially those within the libertarian wing of the GOP — would likely be quite upset with the pick.
For example, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was vehemently opposed to Bolton when he was being floated in November as a potential pick to helm the State Department. Paul, in a scathing op-ed at Rare, lambasted Bolton as “a longtime member of the failed Washington elite” who is “hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years.”
“At a time when Americans thirst for change and new thinking, Bolton is an old hand at failed foreign policy,” Paul wrote. “The man is a menace.”
Paul, who would like to see the U.S. scale back its presence internationally, has long taken issue with the former ambassador for his support of the Iraq War and regime change in the Middle East. At the time, he called Bolton “totally unfit” for secretary of state.
Cruz told CNN he understands Paul’s concerns and believes Bolton “agrees” that the U.S. should not be too quick to engage in military intervention.
“When it comes to foreign policy, Rand and I do not see eye-to-eye,” Cruz said. “I share Rand’s concern that we should not be overeager to engage in military conflict. That’s exactly right and I actually think … John Bolton agrees with that proposition as well.”
Cruz is pushing for Bolton to replace Flynn https://t.co/Szl9gYBEoM
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) February 17, 2017
In addition, the Texas lawmaker argued Bolton could help the Trump administration toughen its perspective on Russia.
“He understands the threats of an overaggressive [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Cruz said of Bolton. “And at the same time, an understanding that we should be reluctant to use military force, that we should do so only when absolutely necessary.”
There have been renewed concerns voiced about Trump’s worldview regarding Russia this week, following reports — which the White House denies — that members of his team had “repeated contacts” with Russian intelligence officials prior to Inauguration Day.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn — retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward — turned down the offer from the White House. A friend of Harward told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the admiral rejected the job because the administration appears too “chaotic” and he sees the offer as a “s**t sandwich.”