It Took Stephen Colbert to Finally Do the Interview John Bolton Really Deserves

“How could you be naive?”

Douliery Olivier/Abaca/Zuma

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For the past week, former national security adviser John Bolton has been touting his new tell-all book as an indictment of Donald Trump and of the president’s weak-willed surrender to foreign leaders. But rather than indulging in Bolton’s revelations, comedian Stephen Colbert asked the salient question: Why did he ever trust Trump in the first place?

“What I thought in 2016 was, we at least have to try it out,” Bolton, a notorious foreign policy hawk who advocated for the Iraq War, said in an appearance on The Late Show. “And so I voted for Trump. Having experienced 17 months of working with him, I can’t in good conscience do that again, and that’s why I’m not gonna vote for him, and I’m not gonna vote for Biden.”

“I guess what’s exasperating is there is absolutely nothing that Donald Trump has done that is surprising to me,” Colbert replied. “How did you not know beforehand that he was just callow?”

“Because I couldn’t believe it was that bad,” Bolton said. “And I know other people say they saw it from the beginning—”

“But you’re an international negotiator,” Colbert shot back. “How could you be naive? You’ve dealt with the worst people in the world.”

The full video is a delight, with Colbert even managing to get a laugh out of Bolton. Watch it below:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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