John Bolton said the Syrian ceasefire deal President Donald Trump made in his meeting with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin sounded very much like deals made by former President Barack Obama's administration. He explained his skepticism Friday on Fox News to guest host Laura Ingraham.
"I'm very nervous about this for two reasons," he said of the ceasefire deal.
"One, on the broad level," he explained, "I think it was a mistake for Barack Obama to acquiesce in greater Russian presence militarily in Syria. I understand the physical reality now. But this deal goes a long way towards politically acquiescing and legitimizing that Russian presence, and I think that's a mistake, number one."
"Number two, I'm not at all sure that this ceasefire," he continued, "assuming it holds, and that's a big assumption, doesn't mostly benefit the Assad regime. In other words, it gives them some column on this particular front, to enable them to move forward on another front."
"Well Tillerson's not gonna be rolled over on this either," Ingraham challenged, "you think Tillerson or [the] secretary of defense is gonna go along with something they think is completely unworkable? I mean they're pretty involved in all of this. Not so much Mattis, but certainly Tillerson was, and what he said was looks like we can build on this conversation for future progress."
"What bothers me about it more than anything else," Bolton responded, "it sounds exactly like the Obama administration's position."
"The secretary of state then went on to say, we expect Assad to leave, we'll have a transition period, we haven't quite worked out the details, how that's going to happen," Bolton laughed.
"The Russians are never gonna acquiesce in Assad leaving, as they have not for the past six years," he explained, "if it endangers their presence in Syria."
Bolton began the segment saying that the fact Trump opened the negotiations with Russian meddling means that the collusion issue is completely over. Bolton also pointed out that Putin looked Trump in the eye and lied to him about their meddling in our election, saying that this should be a lesson for the Trump administration moving ahead.
"It's very significant as a learning experience, both for the president and the former head of Exxon," Bolton said, referring to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. "You can have good talks with people who lie to you, it happens all the time."
Trump announced the Syrian ceasefire agreement after his meeting with Putin during the G-20 economic summit Friday. The administration indicated that Trump brought up the issue of election interference with the Russian president, but they differed on what was said. The Kremlin said the U.S. president accepted Putin's denial of any meddling.