John Bolton vows 2024 presidential run to stop Donald Trump securing White House

Former US national security adviser John Bolton has vowed to launch a presidential bid and confront Donald Trump who’s support he alleges is in “terminal decline”.

The 74-year foreign policy hawk has never held elected office, but has said he believes he could win in two years time, by pushing for America to adopt a tougher line against nations such as China and Russia.

A long-time American exceptionalism who backed the invasion of Iraq, Mr Bolton claimed in an interview with a British broadcaster, his run would not be a vanity project.

“I wouldn’t run as a vanity candidate. If I didn’t think I could run seriously then I wouldn’t get in the race,” he told ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” programme.

“I would get in to win the nomination and I would do it primarily on the basis that we need a much stronger foreign policy.”

Mr Bolton served as George W Bush’s US Ambassador to the UN, defended the invasion of Iraq and often pushed for regime change in places such as Iran. In 2012, he was among those talked of as a possible challenger to Barack Obama, but in the end nothing materialised.

Of his desire for the US to take a more more hawkish stance on foreign policy, he said: “I think it’s important that it’s understood not just in Moscow, but it’s understood in places like Beijing, that unprovoked aggression against your neighbours, is not something the United States and its allies will tolerate.”

In December 2022, Mr Bolton suggested he would run if there was no other GOP candidate who stepped forward to condemn Mr Trump’s comments on social media about potentially suspending the Constitution.

“I’d like to see Shermanesque statements from all the potential candidates,” he told NBC News. “If I don’t see that, I’m going to seriously consider getting in.”

He said the former president’s statement should be considered “disqualifying” for public office.

“I think to be a presidential candidate you can’t just say, ‘I support the Constitution’,” he said. “ You have to say, ‘I would oppose people who would undercut it’.”

Last November, shortly after the midterms, Mr Trump launched his third bid for the White House. He is the only person to have officially declared and as such is considered the front runners.

Yet, a number of others are expected to take part in the race, among them Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

Mr Bolton served April 2018 to September 2019 as Mr Trump’s national security adviser.

Earlier, he believed he had been overlooked for the job of secretary of state because Mr Trump did not like his moustache.

In September 2019, Mr Bolton left the administration and claimed he had quit, while Mr Trump claimed he had been fired.

In 2020, Mr Trump described Mr Bolton as “one of the dumbest people in Washington”.

Asked about how he felt about taking on his former boss, Mr Bolton said: ‘I think Trump’s support within the party itself is in terminal decline.”