For a while, at least, it seemed The View didn’t quite know what to do with John Bolton.
Under questioning from Joy Behar, the former national security advisor deftly evaded a commitment to testify to Congress if subpoenaed ahead of the 2020 election. A question from Meghan McCain about his Broadway-inspired book title was even more useless. “Do you understand that it’s insulting to those of that are fans of Hamilton to co-opt art from Lin-Manuel Miranda for your own political purposes?” she asked, nonsensically.
But the hosts did eventually find their footing late in the interview when it came to Bolton’s refusal to voluntarily share his damning information about President Trump during the impeachment trial—instead of holding onto it for his book.
After Sunny Hostin confirmed with Bolton that he knew Trump tried to get dirt on Joe Biden’s family in exchange for unfreezing aid to Ukraine, Whoopi Goldberg said, “So this is information that you didn’t share with Congress, but you knew all of the hoops everyone was jumping through. You knew the impeachment trial was being set up to fail. You say that the Democrats committed impeachment malpractice, but I think everyone who was in power there did this.”
“Everyone did this to the American people, and you knew!” she continued. “I want to believe that the great American that you are thought of knew this was going on and wanted to do something and just felt that your hands were tied. Because if you knew all this was happening, why didn’t you step up and say, I don’t care, this is not how America is supposed to be. Why didn’t you step up?!”
In response, Bolton avoided the question by highlighting the actions he took when he was still part of the Trump administration and calling the impeachment trial a “partisan shouting match.” But after a break, Hostin returned once more to this same line of questioning.
Clearly exasperated with their guest, Hostin said, “You say that Trump’s not fit to be president, and 120,000 people have died from the coronavirus. Race relations in our country are at an all-time low, and just today you’ve admitted that you were in the room when President Trump exacted a quid pro quo with Ukraine. You were in the room when he was asking for China to meddle in our election.” Holding up his book, she said: “You were in the room, which is what you say is the title of your book, and you chose not to testify!”
“You are the one of the very reasons, if not the reason, that President Trump is still in office and wasn’t impeached,” Hostin added. “Help me understand why your silence is not complicity in this. You were in the room where it happened!”
When Bolton told her that his testimony “wasn’t going to make any difference,” Hostin shot back, “That’s not true!”
“Let me finish, please,” Bolton replied, before shifting the blame to Democrats once more. “Because of the Democratic impeachment malpractice, they drove the parties into their partisan corners, and that’s where it stayed.”
“I’ve chosen a different route,” he continued. “I’ve laid the evidence before the ultimate judges who are the American people, and if you don’t trust their judgment, then there’s a real problem with our democracy and our Constitution. They’re the ones that should make this decision, and what better time to assess the competence and character of Donald Trump than the middle of an election?”