US could assassinate Putin if Russia uses nuclear weapon in Ukraine, claims John Bolton

‘You can ask Qasem Soleimani in Iran what happens when we decide somebody is a threat to the US’

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 11 October 2022 19:03 BST
Putin says response to more Ukrainian attacks will be ‘severe’

The United States could assassinate Vladimir Putin if Russia uses a nuclear weapon in its conflict with Ukraine, former National Security Adviser John Bolton has claimed.

Mr Bolton, a Republican who served under Donald Trump, made the claims during an interview with Andrew Marr on UK radio station LBC News.

The former US Ambassador to the United Nations said that the Russian leader needed to understand that while it “might not happen the next day...he will be held accountable.”

Mr Bolton made his comments after being asked by Marr if the US had the capability of eliminating a sitting world leader of Mr Putin’s stature.

“I don’t agree that we can’t get him and I think he knows that. You can ask Qasem Soleimani in Iran what happens when we decide somebody is a threat to the US,” he said.

Last week Joe Biden Joe Biden warned that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” was at its highest for 60 years.

And on Tuesday, G7 leaders warned Moscow that any use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in Ukraine will be met with severe consequences.

The leaders held a virtual meeting today that was joined by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the day after scores of missiles were fired into Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv.

Meanwhile, another of Mr Trump’s former National Security Advisers, retired Lt. Gen. H R McMaster told CBS News that all the Russian leader has left is to “rattle the nuclear sabre.”

“(President Biden’s) message was unfortunate there because it does kind of play into Putin’s hands.”

Soleimani, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Guard Corps General, was killed by a US drone strike in January 2020 which was ordered by the outgoing Trump administration.

Iranian forces later responded with ballistic missile attacks against US positions in the region that did not kill any US soldiers.

A series of tit-for-tat attacks and threats would continue for five days after the death Soleimani until Mr Trump backed off threats to escalate, citing Iran’s apparent “standing down” following the missile strikes.

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