CHRIS WALLACE: This is not the first time that the president has taken the word of an autocrat over outside evidence.BOLTON: It’s not taking the word. He said I’m going to take -- when he says, “I’m going to take him at his word,” it doesn’t mean that he accepted as reality; it means that he accepts that’s what Kim Jong Un said.WALLACE: So when he says “I take him at his word,” it doesn’t mean that he believes Kim Jong Un?BOLTON: Well, that’s what he said. I think one way to prove that is to give the United States a complete accounting.
- “I really believe something very bad happened to [Warmbier], and I don’t think that the top leadership knew about it.”
- “I did speak about it, and I don’t believe that [Kim] would’ve allowed that to happen. Just wasn’t to his advantage to allow that to happen. Those prisons are rough. They’re rough places. And bad things happened. But I really don’t believe that he was — I don’t believe he knew about it.”
- “He felt badly about it. I did speak to him. He felt very badly. But he knew the case very well, but he knew it later.”
JAKE TAPPER: Do you take Kim Jong Un at his word?BOLTON: The president takes him at his word.(CROSSTALK)TAPPER: No, I know he does, but what about you?BOLTON: My opinion doesn’t matter. My opinion is that ...(CROSSTALK)TAPPER: You're the national security adviser to the president.BOLTON: Right. I’m not ...TAPPER: Your opinion matters quite a bit.BOLTON: I am not the national security decision-maker. That’s his view.