John Bolton: G20 Summit a ‘Waste of Time That Will Be Forgotten Within 24 Hours’

On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton about President Trump’s visit to Poland and his upcoming attendance at the G20 summit.

“The G20 meeting itself is a complete waste of time,” Bolton said. “It was a forum created in the Obama administration because a lot of Third World countries, particularly China and India, didn’t like the fact they were excluded from the G7. Obama was a receptive audience to that kind of argument.”

“Obviously, we have critical relations with China, India, the other members of the G20, and that’s really what this meeting is about. It’s a series of bilateral meetings – the one with Putin obviously has gotten the most attention – but this evening, for example, after Trump flies from Poland to Germany, there will be a dinner previously scheduled before this North Korean launch on Northeast Asian security with Japan and South Korea and a number of other countries represented. There could not be a more appropriate time to discuss what the reaction to North Korea will be,” he said.

“The bilateral with Putin has also gotten a lot of attention, but there are others as well. He will meet with Xi Jinping. … Prime Minister Modi of India, who had a very successful meeting with Trump in Washington, has just returned from a very successful meeting with Bibi Netanyahu in Israel,” Bolton noted.

“Look, there’s a lot to talk about, and the G20 meeting gives them the opportunity to do it, but the meeting itself will produce a meaningless press statement that will be forgotten within 24 hours after being issued,” he predicted.

Bolton noted that members of the president’s staff have revealed to the press their anxiety about Trump’s meeting with Putin.

“They want to see a more structured meeting so he doesn’t screw up, basically. If the president ever needed an incentive to find out who’s leaking from his immediate staff, I recommend he read that article in the New York Times today,” he said with dry humor.

For his part, Bolton said he was not unduly worried about Trump’s meeting with the Russian leader. “The president can handle himself with Vladimir Putin. I think two world leaders like this need introductory time together, without necessarily having a point they need to reach agreement on,” he said.

“I think the president should raise Russian interference in the election, obviously North Korea,” he advised. “I think there are a range of other questions, including Russian interference in the Middle East that he needs to talk to him about in very direct terms. They’ve got a wide range of issues to cover, and they’ll have plenty of time to discuss it.”

“That’s why I don’t think the stakes on this need to be so high to have agreement on anything. I think they need to take each other’s measure. I think the president will do fine at that,” said Bolton.

Marlow took note of the extremely enthusiastic reception Trump received in Poland.

“The Poles recognize the United States is the NATO alliance,” Bolton said. “They understand that Germany – Chancellor Merkel, I have been an admirer of hers over the years; she can prattle on about global climate change all she wants. I think her opinions get to be taken more seriously when Germany spends at least two percent of its GNP on defense, which it is not anywhere close to meeting. It’s about 1.2 percent now.”

“The Poles understand what defense is about. They’ve got Germany on their western border. They’ve got Russia across Belarus and Ukraine to their east. They’ve been invaded and carved up many, many times in the past century. They understand that the United States is fundamental to their national security. You bet they’re grateful to us! The other Europeans in the West, the ‘Old Europe,’ as Donald Rumsfeld once called them, should take due note of that,” he said.

John Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and head of his own political action committee, BoltonPAC.

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