Trump made a 'real threat' by urging white supremacist groups to 'keep their powder dry': John Bolton
John Bolton (Photo via Shutterstock)

On CNN Thursday, former National Security Adviser John Bolton outlined the grave threat posed by President Donald Trump's ongoing nods to white supremacist groups.

"You worked with him on a daily basis for a long time, you saw him every single day," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Why can't the president simply say he condemns white supremacist groups? 'I condemn white supremacy, white supremacist groups.' Why is that so hard?"

"He doesn't see it as being in his political interest," said Bolton. "He is a past master at saying many things about the same subject. So he can say to the Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. People should listen to how he used that line in the debate. He had practiced it. He had thought about it. He knew exactly what he was saying. And he allows that to sink in. And then a short time later, he sort of contradicts it and by Friday he may well condemn white supremacy unequivocally, but he's getting the benefit out of the ambiguity during the interim and he knows it. He does this all the time."

"What did he mean when he said to this group — the Proud Boys — what did he mean when he said, stand back and stand by?" asked Blitzer.

"I took that to mean, just back off for now. But to put it a different way, keep your powder dry," said Bolton. "I thought it was a real threat, and I think he knew exactly what he meant."

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