As John Bolton reportedly writes in his new book, President Donald Trump said he would have made Bolton his secretary of state if it wasn’t for that “son of a b**** Rand Paul” from Kentucky.
Bolton, who later became Trump’s national security adviser, recalls the March 2018 conversation in which the president brought up Paul in his new book, “The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir,” according to the New York Daily News.
The Daily News said it obtained an advance copy of Bolton’s book ahead of its June 23 release date.
“I’d love to have you over there,” Trump reportedly told Bolton in 2018 while discussing his desire to fire then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
But Kentucky’s junior GOP senator was on the president’s mind, Bolton writes in his memoir.
“That son of a b**** Rand Paul will vote against you,” Trump said, according to Bolton.
The president then reportedly brought up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s other Republican senator.
“And McConnell is worried (Paul) may persuade other Republicans, who need his vote on judges and other things,” Trump added, according to Bolton.
The Daily News reported that Bolton also writes how he told Trump during that same March 2018 meeting about his interest in the national security adviser position, which does not require Senate confirmation.
“So I don’t have to worry about those clowns up there?” Trump said, referring to Senate Republicans, according to Bolton’s book.
“Right,” Bolton responded.
In April 2018, the month after the reported chat between the two men, Trump named Bolton as his new national security adviser.
President Donald Trump listens as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a campaign rally in, Lexington, Ky., Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ORG XMIT: KYSW119
Bolton also reportedly writes in his new book that, after getting hired as the national security adviser, he learned Paul privately called him “the worst f***ing decision” Trump had made.
Paul has made clear in the past that he did not like Bolton, particularly for his foreign policy views, with the Kentucky Republican favoring more isolationist policies over Bolton’s hawkish beliefs.
The senator’s relationship with Trump has gone from icy as the two fought for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2016 to much more cordial today.
After Trump abruptly said he fired Bolton in September 2019, Paul commended the president and said the “the chances of war go down greatly” with Bolton gone.
And back in 2016, when Bolton’s name was floated as a potential secretary of state pick ahead of Trump taking office, Paul called Bolton a “menace” and threatened to block his nomination in the Senate.
A spokesperson for Paul did not immediately offer comment Saturday to The Courier Journal.
Paul’s chief strategist, Doug Stafford, did not offer comment to the Daily News about Trump’s comments in the book but said that “(h)ell yes Senator Paul would have blocked a nomination of warmonger Bolton.”
Earlier this week, Paul renewed his criticism of Bolton on Twitter.
“If nothing else, @realDonaldTrump deserves a gold medal for exposing as disreputable the war caucus led by @AmbJohnBolton,” Paul tweeted Wednesday. “Regime change ‘everywhere’ (the Bolton doctrine) was always a very stupid and dangerous idea.”
Paul also said in January that Bolton was trying to use the attention he received as a potential witness in Trump’s impeachment trial to make more money off his forthcoming book.