President Trump on Sunday blamed the congressional testimony of Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer and fixer, for the collapse in negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program last week - continuing to vent about the investigations encircling him and his associates.
Although Trump, while in Vietnam, said he walked away from the nuclear summit with Kim because of a disagreement about economic sanctions on North Korea, he gave another explanation for the failure of the talks on Twitter on Sunday evening. Bolton, in three television interviews, tried to make the case that Trump advanced America's national security interests by rejecting a bad agreement while working to persuade Kim to take "the big deal that really could make a difference for North Korea".
Asked whether that was his view, too, Bolton replied: "The president's view is he gave nothing away".
The canceled drills are triggering debate in Seoul as Kim Jong Un returns to Pyongyang. "I don't view it as a failure at all when American national interests are protected".
The US and North Korea have offered contradictory accounts of why last week's summit in Vietnam broke down, though both pointed to American sanctions as a sticking point.
According to senior USA officials, in the week leading up to the Hanoi summit, the North Koreans had demanded the lifting of effectively all UN Security Council economic sanctions imposed on Pyongyang since March 2016.
Hwang said Monday the exercises were canceled through a single phone call between military chiefs, calling the move the "worst" decision for national security; North Korea still retains nuclear weapons, as well as conventional weapons that can target the South, he added.
Bolton said Trump's "got a hard line to walk to" in negotiating with North Korea.
"This is, I think, the result of a president who is not prepared for these kinds of negotiations, a staff that is not well-prepared and is essentially flying by the seat of its trousers".
During seven hours of testimony on Wednesday, Cohen said that Trump manipulated financial records and that the now-president knew in advance about WikiLeaks' efforts to release damaging information about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 campaign, among other allegations.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, however, disputed the U.S. account, saying Pyongyang offered to dismantle all "nuclear production facilities in the Yongbyon area" in exchange for partial sanctions relief. But Bolton's dodging response may be the most diplomatic thing the anti-diplomat has ever mustered; no doubt Trump will hear Bolton's words as praise for the "decision maker", brushing aside the parts where Bolton is unwilling to repeat Dear Leader's own conclusions.
House Democrats arranged for Cohen to testify before an oversight committee. The United States and South Korea have suspended a number of military exercises since the first summit past year between Kim and Trump to encourage talks with North Korea.
Warmbier's family says he was brutally tortured while imprisoned in North Korea. -South Korea joint exercises as aggressive provocation and rehearsals for war.