July 2, 2018

John Bolton left the possibility that Trump would recognize the annexation of Crimea by telling CBS's Face The Nation that he doesn't make the policy and reiterated Trump's words of 'we will have to see."

On June 29th, aboard Air Force One, Trump said the idea of recognizing Russia's aggressive land grab of Crimea during his planned meeting with Putin was up for discussion.

On Sunday's Face The Nation, the White House National Security Adviser John Bolton was asked if that's actually a possibility.

BRENNAN: On Air Force One this week, President Trump, when he was speaking to reporters, seemed to leave the door open to recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea, saying, "We will have to see what happens" when the issue comes up in the meeting.

Is the U.S. endorsing the idea that international borders can be redrawn by force? Is this actually a topic?

BOLTON: No, that's not the position of the United States. But I think the president...

BRENNAN: Which is why it was newsworthy when he said it.

BOLTON: Well, I don't know that that's what he said.

I think he -- I think the president often says "We will see" to show that he's willing to talk to foreign leaders about a range of issues and hear their perspective.

President Putin was pretty clear with me about it. And my response was, we're going to have to agree to disagree on Ukraine.

BRENNAN: But that's not up for negotiation?

BOLTON: That's not the position of the United States.

BRENNAN: Right. But saying "We will see" suggests it might be.

BOLTON: Well, we will see.

"Well, we will see' is an admission that Trump is actually considering recognizing the annexation of Crimea and since Trump has been more of an ally to Russia than our closest allies would you be surprised if he did?

This would also leave open the possibility that more boundaries could be redrawn by force under the Trump administration.

As Bloomberg reminds us "During the Group of Seven nations summit in Quebec earlier this month, Trump mentioned that Russia has invested heavily in Crimea since the annexation.“They’ve spent a lot of money on rebuilding it,” Trump said on June 9, declining to criticize Russia for annexing its neighbor. He also called for Russia to be allowed back into the group, which was formerly the G-8. Russia was expelled from the body over Crimea."

CBS's Margaret Brennan kept pushing Bolton until finally he said, “The President makes the policy. I don’t make the policy.”

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