https://www.newsweek.com-By Darragh Roche
US National Security Advisor John Bolton attends the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on June 29, 2019. Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Bolton appeared to joke about an alleged plot to kill him, complaining that the money his would-be assassin stood to make was too low. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton appeared to joke about an alleged plot to kill him on Wednesday, complaining that the money his would-be assassin stood to make was too low.
Bolton told CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer that he was “embarrassed” at the $300,000 that was allegedly offered by Shahram Poursafi, an Iranian national and member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Poursafi, who is also known as Mehdi Rezayi, has been charged in an alleged plot to assassinate Bolton either in Washington, D.C. or Maryland and is accused of offering the sum to an unnamed individual in order to kill Bolton.
Blitzer asked Bolton on Wednesday: “What goes through your mind, ambassador, hearing the details of this plot as explained today in great detail by the U.S. Justice Department?”
“Well, I was embarrassed at the low price,” Bolton said. “I thought it would’ve been higher. But I guess maybe it was the exchange rate problem or something.”
“I read the document with great interest. I had not seen it before. I was not aware of many of the specifics in it, although obviously I had long had a general understanding of what the threat was,” the former national security adviser said.
Bolton has long been an outspoken critic of the current regime in Iran, which has ruled the country since the Islamic revolution in 1979. He thanked the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a statement shared to Twitter on Wednesday and also took aim at the Iranian government.
“While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States,” Bolton said. “Their radical, anti-American objectives are unchanged; their commitments are worthless; and their global threat is growing.”
Bolton also criticized the prospect of the U.S. re-entering the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which was agreed by former President Barack Obama. Former President Donald Trump withdrew from that agreement.
Newsweek has asked Bolton’s PAC for comment.
Bolton served as national security advisor under Trump from 2018 to 2019 but has since become a critic of the former president.
The DOJ said the plot to kill Bolton was “likely a retaliation” for the killing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in January, 2020.
According to court documents, Poursafi initially offered a confidential source $250,000 to hire someone to “eliminate” Bolton on November 19, 2021 but the price was later increased to $300,000.
Bolton has frequently called for regime change in Iran and caused some controversy in July when he claimed to have organized coups d’état in other parts of the world.
He was arguing that Trump had not attempted to carry out a coup on January 6, 2021.
“As somebody who has helped plan coups d’état—not here, but other places—it takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he did,” Bolton said. “It was just stumbling around from one idea to another.”