• With: John Bolton

    This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 25, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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    O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight.

    As you may know the Obama administration is seeking to cut the military budget while raising spending on the domestic side. Pentagon's 2015 budget calls for shrinking the army to it's smallest size in 74 years. That has angered Ambassador John Bolton.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    BOLTON: I think the President wants to reduce the size of our military to reduce our international capabilities. This has nothing to do with budget savings given the extraordinary increase in budget expenditures on the domestic side. This is about the President reducing American power, doing it consciously and systematically.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    O'REILLY: Now the Ambassador joins us now from Washington. And that's a very provocative statement that the President of the United States intentionally is trying to diminish American power. Can you prove it?

    BOLTON: Well, I think you can look at his actions over the past five years. This most recent budget only follows a succession of other dramatic cuts in the defense budget over the first five years of his administration. And I'm talking now ex of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cuts to the base levels of the budget.

    And I think it's consistent with his ideology. I think he is very deliberately trying to downsize our military capabilities to make the United States, in his view, less provocative in the world.

    O'REILLY: All right. He made a statement, the President did, that you cited in one of the interviews you did with Fox News, that having this colossus Army invites terrorism, invites people to attack it on its face, that's true. I mean if you send a big army in to a place like Iraq or into a place like Afghanistan then all the bad guys in the region come in to try to attack the army.

    All right? So I didn't think it was a diminishment of power statement. It seemed to me to be a logistical statement. Let's do it another way or am I wrong?

    BOLTON: Well, I think it's wrong, historically. He said this in the State of the Union message just last month that got very little attention that long term deployments may ultimately feed extremism. But the historical record is to the contrary. We've had long term troop deployments in Germany, Japan and South Korea since World War II and not fed extremism there. But it's a reflection of his ideology that we're too strong. We're too assertive. We're too much in the world and that our very presence isn't what provokes animosity.

    So in his view America is a declining power. We withdraw from areas where we currently have influence. Being less provocative the world will be a more stable place. I think that's the exact opposite of reality.

    O'REILLY: Let me play devil's advocate here. In the examples you gave North Korea, Japan and Germany.

    BOLTON: South Korea.

    O'REILLY: We -- we defeat -- South Korea. We defeated the battle there. We won the battles there in North -- in -- in Korea we basically it was a stalemate but we were occupiers and we didn't have a guerrilla warfare against us by the Japanese or the Germans or the South Koreans.

    In the Muslim world which is you know where we are now we do. We are not popular there and the more troops we send there, the less popular we get. So I can understand the President's point of view in that regard. If he says we're just going to do it differently. But he hasn't done that he say -- he wants to take money from the Defense Department and from the Pentagon and give it to the social justice because that's his big deal.

    But here is the key question there are many Americans and I get their letters every day who feels that President Obama dislikes America, wants to harm America. And is doing everything he can to marginalize this country while he is in office. Do you believe that?

    BOLTON: No, look. I'm not a shrink. I don't know what motivates him. I think you can explain this in ideological terms. And I think what -- what he says. What he believes, what he does you would not find much disagreement with in the faculty lounges of where he went to school, Columbia and Harvard Law School. I think that it's the exact opposite of Ronald Reagan's view of the world, which goes by the mantra peace through strength. It's not American strength that's provocative as Obama believes. It's American weakness.

    O'REILLY: Ok. And I agree with you that I, if I were president, would do the Ronald Reagan model. I want everybody to be clear about that all right? I don't think the President's soft power strategy is good for this country in the long run.

    But you dodged my question. Do you, Ambassador John Bolton believe that the President of the United States is actively trying to diminish the power of this nation?

    BOLTON: Yes. How else do you explain his defense budgets?

    O'REILLY: Then why -- why is he trying to hurt the nation? If he diminishes our power, we are weaker. Why does he want to make us weaker?

    BOLTON: Well as I think I said before, in his view a weaker America is a less provocative America and therefore will contribute to international peace and security. I think it's the opposite. I think a weaker America invites challenge.

    O'REILLY: Ok so you really believe that that he wants to weaken this nation and he believes by doing that we will be safer.

    BOLTON: That is his view. I believe that's correct. And I believe that's the predominant view in academia in America today.

    O'REILLY: All right. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Very interesting.

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