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March 25, 2018 2:09 pm
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Transcript for How will Trump’s new national security team appointments impact U.S. foreign policy?

??? ??? I think the only diplomatic option left is to end the regime in North Korea by effectively having the south take it over. I think you’ve got to argue to China? That’s not really diplomatic. Yes, it is — well, that’s their problem. Not ours. Tough talk from former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton on fox News where he’s been a commentator for more than a decade. Now he’ll serve as president trump’s third national security adviser following the forced resignation of lieutenant general H.R. Mcmaster. Joining me now to talk about the implications of all this are admiral Mike mullen who served as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under bush and Obama and Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser to president George W. Bush. Good morning, gentlemen. Thanks for joining and I want to start with you, Mr. Hadley. You were national security adviser when John Bolton was U.N. Ambassador. What was it like working with him. Well, John is a very smart, very experienced, very tough guy. He has strong views. But he was I think on balance and asset for the president and executed the guidance he got for the president but he is a very capable fellow. What do you think he will be like with president trump? Well, one of the good things is the president knows him and feels comfortable with him and feels John is more in line with the president’s views and the president is the person elected by the American people to set foreign policy. He deserves people around him who think the same way. I think the issue is going to be as national security adviser you have to have a good relationship with the president but you also have to have a good relationship with the other nsc principal, secretary of state, secretary of defense and in order to do that you need to run a transparent inclusive open process. And last year you reportedly warned against Bolton serving as deputy secretary of state. Is that trues, first of all, and do you have concerns? I don’t have real concerns. I think, you know, there is an issue in any situation whether a person is the right person for the right job. I think in the national security adviser is someone who is close to the president, needs to have the confidence of the president and John clearly has that. And admiral mullen, do you have concerns? You heard, for example, what he just said on Fox News in that short clip. Do you think this will change our foreign policy? I actually don’t know how it can. I am concerned if I believe Mr. Bolton’s rhetoric where he’s talked about preemptive strike or even preemptive war in north Korea. He’s obviously very strongly opposed to the nuclear deal in Iran. In a way, you know, seeing him and I think — I think partially to Steve’s point, he also needs to get in there, give him a chance to perform in this job and his knitting together of the team is going to be very important as well. Although certainly reports talk about that being a very difficult challenge for him, as well and so I wonder, you know, are we going backwards in terms of those countries we focused on in the past and the axis of evil, you know, the ones that estimate present huge challenges for us and that Mr. Bolton will sort of lead change much more militaristic change towards those companies. “The New York Times” wrote an editorial Friday titled, yes, John Bolton really is that dangerous. They wrote there are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump H made so far coupled with his nomination of the hard-line CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, Mr. Trump is indulging his worst nationalisticinstincts. Mr. Bolton in particular believes the United States can do whatever it wants without regard to the international law, treaties or the political commitments of previous administrations. Is that fair criticism. I’m not sure, again, he’s going to be the national security adviser and I certainly hope he can adapt. He’s working for the president, nobody — the president is clearly not going to be working for him so it’s going to be the president’s views that I think Mr. Bolton will actually in the end execute. It’ll be the team that he brings together. I think secretary Jim Mattis will have a lot to say here in terms of outcomes with respect to the future use of the military and I’m homeful that Mattis — I want to check on Mattis. Do you think in a sense this diminishes him. Tillerson is gone. No, I think it actually makes his job tougher. He clearly had a good relationship with secretary tillerson. I hope he can establish that same with John Bolton. Same relationship with John Bolton and I know he has a good relationship with actually Michael Pompeo so I’m hopeful Mattis can continue to influence to appoint where we lead with diplomacy and not with the military. Mr. Hadley, to that point again the north Korean meetings are supposedly setting up these north Korean meetings with president trump, and north Korea’s president. Do you see this changing this? He’s now surrounded by hard-liners who aren’t really talking about diplomacy. So, what should happen at these meetings? Well, first, on the issue of a lot of concern about whether Bolton will take the country to war, as Mike said, it is the president that makes those decisions. I think the rhetoric out of John Bolton has been a little bit extreme for my taste but we have to make this point, give this to the administration that while they were criticized for too much rattling of the sword with respect to North Korea it did get China’s attention, it did convince China that status quo was not sustainable. China did back strong sanctions of North Korea and got the attention of the north Korean leadership who now says they’re willing to talk to president trump. They’re willing to talk about denuclearization, they didn’t object to the military exercises we’re doing in South Korea. They’ve got a suspension of any further ballistic missile test, nuclear tests. They’ve set the table pretty well for these conversations and that’s going to be a real opportunity for the president and for John Bolton. And admiral mullen, do you think North Korea would really denuclearize. It’s hard for me to think they will. That said, I think the talks which are scheduled are really important, orchestrating those, structuring those for denuclearization outcome is critical. That will probably be John Bolton’s biggest challenge initially as he takes this job. And if they rip up the Iran deal — The thing they need to think about is this, there’s a lot not to like about the Iran deal but that’s not the question. The question is, is it it in the American interest to rip up the Iran deal? And what will be the consequence and one of the consequences may be both a resumption by Iran of their enrichment program and it would be alienating our friends and allies so the hope that the administration has had that our allies will pressure Iran to do something about its ballistic missile program, about its activities in the neighborhood, maybe extend the term of the agreement, that gets harder if they rip up the deal. Thanks to both of you, always a pleasure to talk to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

 
 

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