Appearing on CNN early Sunday just moments after President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton urged European nations to join the U.S. in violating the Iran nuclear accord, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) denounced Bolton as part of an influential faction of Washington ultra-hawks who push war as "the answer to everything."
"This is a man who was a key adviser to President Bush, George W. Bush, in urging him to...invade Iraq because supposedly Iraq had weapons of mass destruction," Sanders said of Bolton, who Trump selected to be his top foreign policy adviser in March. "As I think most Americans now know, that effort in Iraq was the worst foreign policy disaster in the modern history of this country."
The Vermont senator continued:
I think you have some people unfortunately in Washington—Bolton being one of them—who believe that war, and militarism, is the answer to everything. We have spent over $2 trillion in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet today our infrastructure here in the United States is crumbling, we have millions of people who can't afford to go to college or are leaving college deeply in debt. Maybe, just maybe, we might want to be investing in the American people rather than inflated military budgets and more and more wars.
Sanders' comments on Bolton—who in a separate interview on Sunday attempted to downplay and obscure his past support for regime change—come just days after the senator denounced the Trump administration's decision to violate the Iran nuclear accord, a move Bolton has pushed for since the agreement was finalized in 2015.
In a live-streamed response immediately following Trump's withdrawal announcement last Tuesday, Sanders called the president's decision "reckless" and said it moves the U.S. closer to yet another military conflict in the Middle East.
"By reimposing nuclear sanctions on Iran and withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear agreement, President Trump has put our nation on a dangerous path," Sanders added.
Monday evening, Sanders is set to elaborate his critique of Trump's violation of the nuclear agreement and discuss what comes next in a town hall hosted by The Intercept, The Guardian, NowThis, and other outlets.