Report: Tillerson Skeptical of Bolton

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton speaks during the Freedom Summit the Freedom Summit, Saturday, May 9, 2015, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

The revelation comes in a New York Times piece about Republican opposition to Bolton. After discussing the misgivings of Senator Bob Corker, and the outright opposition of Rand Paul, the article tells us:

Mr. Bolton, a State Department official under Mr. Bush who also served for a short time as United Nations ambassador, is also facing stiff resistance from some of the Republican Party’s best-known leaders in world affairs — some of them veterans of the Bush White House who often found themselves at odds with him during that period.

They include Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state and national security adviser, who clashed with Mr. Cheney; Robert M. Gates, a former secretary of defense; and Stephen J. Hadley, also a former national security adviser, according to two people with knowledge of their thinking who asked not to be identified.

Another impediment is that Mr. Tillerson has expressed misgivings about having Mr. Bolton as his deputy, according to a person who has spoken with Mr. Trump in recent days. But Mr. Bolton remains under consideration for the job.

The story comes from the New York Times and is co-authored by Maggie Haberman, the reporter considered reliable by the Hillary crowd. The detail about Tillerson is based on a single anonymous source. However, it’s corroborated by the opposition of Rice, Gates, and Hadley — all people who vocally supported Tillerson for the State post.

Why Tillerson dislikes Bolton is unclear. One wonders if Bolton’s hawkish stance on Russia is the problem for Tillerson, the recipient of an Order of Friendship medal from Putin. But that very hostility to Putin and Russia would be comforting to folks who are worried that the selection of Tillerson signals a willingness to roll over and let Uncle Vlad rub America’s belly.

It will be interesting to see how Trump handles this.

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