Jim: Later in the interview, President Trump brings Bolton back up himself. Here’s the exchange.
Mr. Bender: You’ve talked about holding China accountable for coronavirus. Do you think they sat on that information about the virus in order to tank other economies around the world?
Mr. Trump: They did something because if you look, they had very little outbreak, although now they seem to have an outbreak in Beijing, which is interesting, as of yesterday. But everybody knew they had it. I acted very early. I closed our country to China.
By the way, Bolton disagreed. He thought we shouldn’t do it, okay? He didn’t think and you know, I was in a room full of people. You were there. And of the people, I don’t know of anybody that thought I should do it. That was a decision I made because I was seeing and hearing that China has a big problem.
Bolton and Trump had a very public blow-up and Bolton either quit or was fired months before Trump partly closed traffic from China. Perhaps confused as a result, Bender asks a follow-up:
Mr. Bender: Did you consult with Bolton on coronavirus?
Mr. Trump: No. I lost respect for Bolton’s intellect fairly early in the process.
Perhaps the president’s memory is faulty, or perhaps he’s just making things up.