Think back to 2016 and the campaign then. Donald Trump used to recite a poem about a woman who took a dying snake into her house and nursed it back to health. The snake did become healthy and then immediately whipped around and bit the woman.
As she breathed her last breath, the woman asked the snake, "Why did you do this?" "Well, because I'm a snake," was the reply. "That's what we do."
All of which somehow reminds us of disgraced former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Republicans in Washington might seem shocked to discover that Bolton has turned and betrayed his former boss, Donald Trump, but they shouldn't be shocked. That's who John Bolton is. That's who John Bolton has always been. That's what John Bolton does. And not to brag, but we called it long ago.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that Bolton's new book contains sections designed to help the Democratic case for impeachment. Bolton accuses the president of delaying military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure its government into investigating Hunter Biden.
Again, people in Washington are stunned by this -- or claimed to be. If Bolton disliked Trump so much, they wonder, why did he join the administration?
Well, the answer is simple: Bolton wanted war with Iran. He's always wanted war with Iran. He's obsessed with it.
Here he is, for example, gleefully fantasizing about regime change there long before he became national security adviser.
John Bolton, former U.S. national security adviser: I had said for over 10 years since coming to these events that the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs' regime in Tehran.
And that's why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran. Thank you very much.
For Bolton, every conflict was the final test of America's resolve and a chance to use overwhelming military force. Maybe because he never served in the military himself, Bolton genuinely passionately loved war.
Republicans in Washington might seem shocked to discover that Bolton has turned and betrayed his former boss, Donald Trump, but they shouldn't be shocked. That's who John Bolton is.
In the end, of course, he didn't get it. Trump blocked him at the brink of more than one conflict. Bolton finally left in well-deserved humiliation.
Bolton's resignation was one of the highlights of the president's first term, a day of celebration for normal people everywhere. But not in America's newsrooms. The media were sad to see John Bolton go. They love wars. Wars mean they get to move tanks around on a screen and talk about weapon systems.
And so suddenly, for the first time, they loved John Bolton. What a hero he was!
Former U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md.: Bolton is something different. He's one of them, and he's not prone to just lying.
Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor: And you have to give him the benefit of the doubt on credibility because this president deserves zero.
Chuck Todd, MSNBC host: It did feel like we were marking time and this was becoming a planned acquittal ... And yet we have a Perry Mason moment.
Claire McCaskill, MSNBC political analyst and former Democratic senator from Missouri: Who are you going to believe? Donald Trump or John Bolton? You could believe probably a dead frog more than you could believe Donald Trump at this point.
Nicolle Wallace, MSNBC host: John Bolton is a lot of things but able to be painted as a "Deep State" actor is not one of them. So good luck with that.
Republicans can now exhale and acknowledge that the Earth is round, that Donald Trump is indeed corrupt.
They can rely on a man who is the Republican version of Justice Scalia in foreign policy circles, a conservative's conservative.
"A conservative's conservative," says a liberal.
In fact, the only thing John Bolton helped conserve over the past 20 years is Raytheon's stock price. He did a good job there. The many pointless conflicts he has been pushing are not conservative, they're just the opposite of that. They are a big part of the reason our middle class is dying.
That seems obvious to you, it's not obvious here. In Washington, counterproductive wars are a virtue, not a vice. Just ask Mitt Romney, one of their biggest champions. Over the last week in the Senate, Romney has made a ton of ambivalent noises about having relevant witnesses testify to the public. Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff, the whistleblower who shall not be named -- I'm not sure, not really necessary, says Mitt Romney.
But John Bolton? Mitt Romney would love to see his old friend John Bolton testify before Congress. Keep in mind that Bolton was once a "senior foreign policy adviser" to Romney's doomed presidential campaign, and clearly, they're still friends.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah: I think with a story that came out yesterday, it's increasingly apparent that it would be important to hear from John Bolton.
It's pretty fair to say that John Bolton has a relevant testimony to provide to those of us who are sitting in impartial justice.
Will John Bolton testify? Who knows? Either way, it won't change the outcome. Trump will be acquitted. It's a totally stupid sideshow. He will be embarrassed about it later.
But it's worth taking this moment to pause and think about John Bolton himself for a moment anyway. How a guy who disagrees so completely with everything that Donald Trump ran on and won on -- how did that guy wind up in a position of power in the White House?
Good question. Because he's not the only one.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Jan. 27, 2020.