Fred Fleitz, who served as John Bolton’s chief of staff at the United Nations during the George W. Bush Administration, joined Fox Business host Lou Dobbs to discuss the fall of Raqqa (good), progress against North Korea’s nuclear program (better), and the appearance of insubordination among certain prominent members of President Trump’s cabinet (very bad).
Lou Dobbs: Joining us tonight Fred Fleitz, former CIA analyst, chief of staff to Ambassador John Bolton at the United Nations, now a senior vice president at the Center for Security Policy and Fred great to have you with us.
Fred Fleitz: Good to be here.
Dobbs: And I think it’s terrific that tonight on this 20th of October, nine months ago the president inaugurated and today Raqqa is in the hands of U.S.-backed forces in Syria. ISIS is being rolled back, the successes as the president promised have been incredible, particularly compared to the passivity of the previous administration and its campaign against ISIS, such as it was.
Fleitz: I think that’s right, I mean, President Trump took the gloves off. There were so many restrictions on our operations in Iraq and Syria and it made a real difference against ISIS. Now, we’re not gonna hear this on other networks. I think we’re seeing some cautious signs of progress on North Korea but I don’t know that sanctions against North Korea will ever work but if they’re going to work, they’re gonna work under this president because he’s twisting the arms of the Chinese and the Russians and others to get them to enforce sanctions. We may have to attack but we have to go down the sanctions road and I’m encouraged.
Dobbs: And in the case of North Korea, the Secretary of State today suggesting it might be months before, only months, before North Korea has the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. This has been a stunning ratcheting up of the estimated timetable for the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.
Fleitz: They could have the capability now. We don’t know, the intelligence community says North Korea has 60 nuclear weapons. Whether they detonated a hydrogen bomb last month or not, we don’t know. It was a 250 kiloton weapon, which was 25 times their previous weapon. This is a very serious threat and I think North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is an offensive arsenal, not a deterrent and they will one day use it.
Dobbs: And as we are watching this, we hear from the secretary of state again, almost impossible to contemplate language. Tillerson’s saying that he wants to balance his views with those of the president. Are you kidding me?
Fleitz: I’m very angry with Secretary Tillerson, who told the Europeans today that they don’t have to worry about their trade deals with Iran, that we’re going to go after them. I immediately tweeted that Tillerson should be fired tomorrow for this. He undermined—well he’s trying to undermine what the president did, but I think the Europeans know that Mr. Trump is serious about the Iran deal and if it isn’t fixed, and it isn’t going to be fixed, but if it isn’t fixed, he’s gonna get out.
Dobbs: This is a very difficult moment for many people to understand. The president is tolerating such abuse from his own cabinet that I mean, I don’t react well to it I will tell you. I just cannot imagine a person not deferring to the president of the United States, any American citizen and to have this kind of arrogant insubordination on the part of a secretary of state is just, it’s infuriating and I have to give the president all the credit in the world. This is a man I don’t think most of us would have ever expected to this tolerant, to be this generous and nor would of I expected Rex Tillerson to be such a small and silly person.
Fleitz: You know, I think we should think of this in light of the really inappropriate speech George W. Bush gave yesterday. The Bush circle is not in Trump’s circle and the Bush circle helps staff Trump’s national security team.
Fleitz: And that’s why there’s been all this trouble in the Iran deal, the Paris climate accord, radical Islam. At the end of the year, the president has to take account of who gave him good advice, who gave him good advice on personnel and make some major changes.
Dobbs: Yeah, this is truly the . . . It looks to be the contest of purpose, direction, and will between Bush globalists and Trump nationalists, and I thank the Lord the president seems to be winning nearly all of the battles.