‘All he did was threaten people & assume we control the world’: Ron Paul on Bolton’s Russia meeting

Donald Trump was elected president as a populist outsider who talked non-intervention, but his administration is being hijacked by neoconservatives who want to preserve the US empire, former congressman Ron Paul has told RT.

Paul was commenting on the meeting of Trump’s new national security advisor, John Bolton, with his Russian counterpart Nikolay Patrushev in Geneva on Thursday, which the US envoy described as making “considerable progress” in relations between Washington and Moscow.

“I thought it was terrible. All he did was threaten people and assume we control the world,” the former Texas congressman told RT.

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© AFP / US mission in Geneva

There was no joint statement after the talks, because reportedly Bolton insisted that Russia admit it meddled in the 2016 US election, and Patrushev countered by asking the US to stop interfering in the affairs of other countries.

“I would consider how much we have done, especially since World War II, how many elections we have been involved in, how many coups we’ve participated in, including Ukraine… I would say in comparison this current Russiagate… is just minuscule, as far as I’m concerned,” Paul told RT. “It’s blown way out of proportion, and it’s a distraction from some of the more important issues.”

Moscow looks set in its ways and Washington remains “very much interventionist,” Paul said, citing as one example US failure to fulfil its promises not to expand NATO eastward to the borders of Russia.

“We don’t think our president really at heart endorses all these positions… yet the people he has hired do,” Paul said, bringing up his appointment of Bolton, a neoconservative hawk from the George W. Bush administration.

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US national security adviser John Bolton © Ronen Zvulun

Bolton told reporters to “trust the American people” who elected Trump. As Paul points out, however, those people never elected Bolton and other neocons who occupy key spots in the Trump administration.

“I know a lot of American people that aren’t very happy with neoconservatives,” Paul said, arguing that they are working behind the scenes in both parties to “maintain the empire.”

“This other stuff is just distraction from who has the power, who has the purse strings, who makes the decisions,” he said. There is no discussion in US politics on deficit financing, central banking, welfare state or foreign interventions, Paul added, because both parties accept them as a given.

Commenting on Bolton’s demand that Moscow pressure Iran into getting its troops out of Syria, Paul said that while this was a “reasonable request,” it should rather apply to “any foreign nation that has troops in Syria that haven’t been invited.”

“People who aren’t invited into a country shouldn’t be there,” Paul said. US presence in Syria has no basis in either domestic or international law, while Russian and Iranian troops operate at the invitation of the government in Damascus.

“It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Iran to leave Syria,” Paul told RT. “But I think a good deal would be if America would leave Syria as well, and mind our own business.”

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