MAHER: I’m going to start with something you said in it. You’re talking about the virus. You said that Trump didn’t want to hear warnings about the virus because he didn’t want to hear bad things about President Xi of China that could affect the fantastic trade deal he was working on. Are you saying he botched the Coronavirus response because he was protecting China?
FMR. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR JOHN BOLTON: Well, I think that’s very substantially the case. I think in the critical early months — January, February, maybe even before that — there was an empty chair in the Oval Office. The experts around our government, on the NSC staff, and Centers for Disease Control, and elsewhere were raising the red flag. The president did not want to be bothered with it. He did not want to hear about the coverup, the outright deception that China was engaged in terms of the nature of the virus. And he particularly didn’t want to hear anything that could foreshadow trouble for the American economy because of the disease that might upset his path to reelection. So, there’s a long list and I won’t repeat them all but people can find it online and in newspapers Trump made, that senior officials made that say the virus is not a threat, we’ve got it under control, there won’t be any impact. And that cost us a lot of time. And earlier steps could have well mitigated the effect of the disease substantially.