In the light of his forthcoming book, former Trump appointee John Bolton revealed in an interview with ABC News why he was afraid to leave US President Donald Trump alone with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during a 2018 summit in Helsinki.
Bolton said this was because "at any given moment, we didn't know what he [Trump] was gonna say", moving on to note that it worked out in the end, but no American interests were advanced.
"At any given moment, we didn't know what he was gonna say. Now, it turned out and I say in the book, I feel very confident nothing untoward happened in the one on one. But that means we escaped without injury in the meeting. That's not advancing American interests. I mean, it's better than sustaining the injury. But it's certainly not advancing the interests", Bolton said.
"I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle. I think Putin is smart, tough. He plays a bad hand extremely well. And I think he sees that he's not faced with a serious adversary here. And he works on him, and he works on him, and he works on him", Bolton said.
The 2018 summit took place in Helsinki in July of that year between Putin and Trump, marking their first full-fledged meeting, with discussions of various issues of mutual interest. According to the polls, over 73 percent of Americans who took part in a survey believed that the summit was a win for Russia.