John Bolton says Trump’s act is ‘old and tired’ while predicting GOP will turn to DeSantis in 2024

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton blistered Donald Trump as a has-been and political albatross around the neck of the GOP in a new interview about his former boss’s electoral prospects for 2024.

Mr Trump announced his campaign for president earlier this month, days after the bulk of the midterm elections concluded, and it was clear that a fixation on the 2020 election conspiracies that he espouses hurt GOP candidates in key elections around the country.

The ex-president has since faced a newly resurgent resistance by the GOP establishment, which has pounded him as a political liability in the editorial pages of right-leaning publications and in public, often cautious, rebukes.

Mr Bolton has been open with his criticism of the former president since leaving the White House and saw an opening to attack Mr Trump in an interview with The Guardian.

“There are a lot of reasons to be against Trump being the nominee but the one I’m hearing now as I call around the country, talking to my supporters and others about what happened on 8 November, is the number of people who have just switched Trump off in their brain,” Mr Bolton told the newspaper.

He speculated that Florida’s Ron DeSantis, widely thought to have national ambitions and currently the only Republican other than Mr Trump polling double digits in a hypothetical 2024 field, would be the one to take the reins as the leader of the conservative movement.

“He won re-election on 8 November with a big majority. A lot of people look to him as the next generation candidate,” said Mr Bolton of Mr DeSantis. “That’s one of Trump’s biggest problems – his act is old and tired now.”

Mr Bolton’s defiance of his former boss is nothing new — earlier this year he supported Rep Liz Cheney in her primary against Trump-endorsed challenger Harriet Hageman and called the congresswoman’s eventual defeat a major loss for the party. Ms Cheney is the GOP vice chair of the January 6 committee in the House.

“I think the success of the Republican Party historically comes when we have followed our philosophy and our best principles,” he said in response to a question from The Independent in August. “Loyalty to the party doesn't depend on where you stand with respect to one person.”