John Bolton: Nothing Wrong with Trump’s Remittance Proposal as a ‘Bargaining Position’

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton joined Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon to discuss Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s proposal to block a portion of the roughly $25 billion annual money transfers, known as remittances, sent to Mexico by Mexicans living outside the country until the Mexican government agrees to “a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” to pay for the border wall.

While Bolton faulted the measure as a matter of policy for practical reasons, he qualified his comments and seemed to view it more as a welcome “bargaining position” than anything.

President Obama said this proposal will bankrupt Mexico, and the Mexican president has now nominated a new ambassador to the United States who will take a hard line on “defending the interests of Mexico abroad” in light of Trump’s proposal. In response, Bolton said, “Trump has fastened on something that resonates and that is, from top to bottom, on whatever issue you want to talk about, he thinks that Barack Obama and John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton are lousy negotiators. And on that point, he is absolutely right. There is nothing wrong with taking a bargaining position that you know you’re not going to be able to achieve but which forces your adversary to recognize the interest that you’re trying to protect and to make it harder for them to move you away from the position that you ultimately want to be to.”

Bolton faulted diplomats, especially within the State department for failing to take hardline negotiating positions, despite it being a good tactic, because they don’t like to have to explain to the press why they ended up getting less in the end.

Commenting on Obama’s reaction to Trump’s proposal, Bolton said, “When confronted with the suggestion, Barack Obama’s first instinct is to worry about the people of Mexico.” Though he acknowledged that we are all humanitarians, Bolton added, “Honestly, don’t you expect the American President to think about the American people first? That really is a revealing comment from Barack Obama as to what his priorities are.”

Asked for his reaction to the lack of push back from the media on Obama appearing to be more concerned with Mexico’s economy than the needs of Americans in his reaction to Trump’s proposal, Bolton said, “The media, of course, which is essentially an adjunct of the Democratic Party, of course they’re going to go along with it.”

As for Trump’s actual idea of blocking remittances, Bolton said, “I think you have to view it in the context of seven years with a president who acted whether he had authority to do it or not just because he thought it was a good idea. So, if you don’t like rounding up and deporting illegal aliens, if you don’t like to prosecute them for the crimes they’ve committed, Barack Obama says, okay, we’re not going to enforce that law without authority.

He went on to question the authority of any chief executive to scrutinize every transfer out of millions a day, while calling it a “monumental task.” Also said Bolton, “The issue here is what you do with the illegals who are already here, and this is a kind of proposal that ignores that issue and just talks about how to pay for the wall, which is a misdirection of epic proportions in my view.”

Bolton also went on to criticize Hillary Clinton, pointing out that anyone who thinks she’s be better on foreign policy, let alone more hawkish than Barack Obama is wrong and that she is finally revealing herself to be the Leftist that she has always been.

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Listen to the full interview with John Bolton below:


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