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President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton told ABC News that he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks he can play Trump “like a fiddle.”

“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 — I — I think he sees that — he’s not faced with a serious adversary here,” Bolton said in the exclusive interview.

Bolton is is scheduled to release on June 23an explosive book about his 17 months in the White House, in which he paints Trump as “stunningly uninformed,” ignorant of basic facts and easily manipulated by foreign adversaries.

“When you’re dealing with somebody like Putin, who has made his life understanding Russia’s strategic position in the world, against Donald Trump, who doesn’t enjoy reading about these issues or learning about them, it’s a very difficult position for America to be in,” Bolton told ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz.

Bolton’s comments, in addition to the many stories he shares in the book, “The Room Where It Happened,” amount to a stunning indictment of a sitting president by one of his own former top advisers.


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