Bolton warns Manhattan case could be ‘rocket fuel’ for Trump campaign

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Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Sunday that depending on the outcome of the case, the indictment of former President Trump in Manhattan could be “rocket fuel” to his 2024 presidential campaign.

“If Trump is acquitted or he gets the case dismissed because it’s not legally sufficient or for whatever reason, that will be rocket fuel, because he can say, I told you it was a political prosecution, I told you I was being picked on, and now I’ve been vindicated,” Bolton said in an interview with CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

But Bolton argued that if Trump is convicted in the New York case, which stems from hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, the reaction from voters could be much different.

“If he’s convicted, however, at some point before the campaign ends, I think that will have a very different impact on people,” Bolton said. “If he’s convicted of a crime, I think most Americans actually don’t want a convicted felon to be their president.”

Trump and his allies have framed the prosecution as a witch hunt and have said the indictment will boost his White House bid. The campaign pounced on the opportunity to fundraise off the news, raising over $4 million in the 24 hours after the indictment was announced.

And although many Republicans continue to back Trump, Bolton, who is considering a presidential campaign himself, argued it is a mistake for members of the GOP to continue to align so tightly with Trump.

“I think it’s a big mistake politically for Republicans to do that,” Bolton said. “And I think it’s important to stress that in this case that involves hush money to a porn star to cover up an affair that later involves cooking his company’s books, you have not heard a single Trump defender stand up and say, ‘Oh, that’s not the Donald Trump I know.”

Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security advisor from 2018 to 2019 and was also U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2005-06, has regularly split with the former president since leaving his administration, particularly regarding Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

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