Retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Pence, joins Fox News anchor Bret Baier on FNC’s ‘Special Report.’
General, thanks for being here.
GEN. KEITH KELLOGG (RET.), PENCE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Bret, thanks for having me.
BAIER: I want to talk about your speech last night and what you touched on. You essentially said that this president has made the right choices when faced with difficult decisions.
There are many people who question that. You’ve said you’ve been in the room each time.
KELLOGG: That’s correct.
Yeah, Bret. Look, this is an election on contrast, and I think the contrast, as commander in chief, between Joe Biden and President Trump is significant.
Look, let’s go down a couple of them right now. Joe Biden and the Obama administration let ISIS grow, grow to the size, geographically, the size of Great Britain.
They had a terrorist master, Abu Al-Baghdadi running it. He let our military atrophy going forward. They allowed Syria to use chemical weapons, Sarin nerve gas, against its citizens after they said very, very clearly that that was a red line they would not let the Syrians cross as it went forward.
And you had a secretary of defense from the Obama administration, Secretary Gates, say that, in public and in his book, that Joe Biden has been nearly wrong on every major national security decision in the last 40 years. And I think that’s true.
And when you look at what we have done, we reacted — when Assad used Sarin nerve gas against its citizens, we reacted. This president eliminated the ISIS caliphate, killed Al-Baghdadi in an operation called Operation Kayla, named after an American woman that he had killed, Kayla Mueller. He’s let the military grow significantly going forward.
But look, here’s the one that is not really mentioned, and I think this one is pretty important. When one of the most critical decisions made in the Obama administration was to go after the architect of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, after they had found him, the individual in the room that recommended that operation not take place was Joe Biden.
And our president has gone after Baghdadi, he went after Soleimani, got him. Soleimani, the same individual from Iran who had been a mastermind on killing hundreds of American servicemen in Iraq.
So I think the contrasts are quite clear, and I am very, very proud of our record compared to his.
BAIER: You know, you said in the speech, I know leadership, I know decision making, and I’ve seen the response to that. You also said that, I have been in the room where it happened.
A clear kind of veiled reference to John Bolton’s book named “The Room Where It Happened.” The former national security advisor on decisions told me this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FMR. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The point is not what he believes when he signs the particular legislation or what he says when he’s dealing with the Chinese. It’s that he doesn’t particularly believe any of it longer than it takes to get past the day he’s dealing with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: And you’ve heard those interviews general, and you’ve heard him out and about and the book. Is he lying about all that?
KELLOGG: Yeah, he is.
Bret, his comments are absurd. I have been in the room a lot longer than he has. I have been with the president ever since he came into the White House. I have been with him through Mike Flynn, who was the national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. I’ve been through him with John Bolton and Robert O’Brien, who I believe happens to be the best national security adviser this president has had.
John Bolton, I believe, is actually an architect of failure. He had his own agenda. He pushed his own agenda, and when it didn’t work, he tried to basically stifle the discussion going forward or lie to the president of the United States.
I was in there when it happened. I saw him when he fabricated information and nearly caused us to commence military operations in Iran because of a loss of a drone that we knew he had incorrect information, and he passed that incorrect information to the president.
I saw him on several occasions do that. I saw John Bolton single-handedly destroy Afghan negotiations a year ago up at Bedminster after we thought we had the Afghan negotiations on track. And he happened to just ruin them. And I was there in the room when it happened.
So is John Bolton is a liar? Yeah, he is. He also is thinking of things about John Bolton before he thinks about anybody else. So.
KELLOGG: I’m sorry?
BAIER: No, I was going to wrap you up here. I’ve got to run, but it’s another night, the wrap up night, for the Republican National Convention.
BAIER: Your speech we took last night.
And thanks for your service, and we’ll see what tonight brings.