Ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton says he has helped plan foreign coups d'état

John Bolton.
(Image credit: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton seemingly admitted to helping plan international coups d'état during a Tuesday interview with CNN, multiple outlets have reported.

Speaking with Jake Tapper — who, on the topic of Jan. 6, said, "One doesn't have to be brilliant to attempt a coup" — Bolton replied, "I disagree with that. As somebody who has helped plan coups d'état, not here, but other places, it takes a lot of work."

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Earlier, Bolton had said that it is a "mistake" to believe the Capitol riot was a "carefully planned coup d'état" by former President Donald Trump.

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"That's not the way Donald Trump does things," Bolton told Tapper. The ex-official condemned Trump's claims of election fraud, but said he did not think the former president's actions amounted to "an attack on our democracy."

"It's Donald Trump looking out for Donald Trump. It's a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence," he said.

Tapper later pressed Bolton on his reported coup experience, and inquired as to whether such efforts were successful. Bolton then referenced his memoir, in which he discussed how the United States supported an ultimately failed attempt at overthrowing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in 2019, The Washington Post summarizes.

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"Not that we had all that much to do with it," Bolton said, "but I saw what it took for an opposition to try and overturn an illegally elected president, and they failed."

"I feel like there's other stuff you're not telling me," Tapper said, to which Bolton replied, "I'm sure there is."

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