ABC’s Jon Karl questioned National Security Adviser John Bolton about the cancelling of his CNN interview.
Karl questioned, “I want to ask you about Putin and freedom of the press. Vladimir Putin and his government have jailed journalists, there have been accusations they have carried out murders of journalists, and we hear President Trump, doesn’t he kind of contribute to that authoritarian effort to undermine a free press when we hear him brand legitimate news organizations as fake, legitimate news stories as fake? Doesn’t that contribute to exactly the kind of undermining of the free press that we see out of Russia?”
Bolton replied, “No I don’t think that has anything to do with it. Franklin Roosevelt met with Joseph Stalin at a time when activity in Russia was a lot worse than it is today. I’m not excusing present conduct, but it didn’t seem to bother Franklin Roosevelt, and liberal Democrats weren’t bothered at the time when he met with Stalin. Let’s have some historical perspective here and not act like we have the attention span of fruit flies.”
Karl followed with, “But wait a minute. I’m not asking whether or not it’s legitimate or appropriate for him to meet with Vladimir Putin. I’m asking if the president branding real news organizations, real news stories as not real contributes to this effort that we see from the Russians and from other authoritarians to undermine a free press?
Bolton stated, “Of course not. Really honestly, Jonathan Honestly I think the question is silly. Don’t say I’m attacking freedom of the press. I just characterized your question.”