The former national security adviser should have told Congress what he knew about the president's foreign policy abuses: Our view

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To Donald Trump’s harshest critics — indeed to much of the nation — the president’s ongoing support from a devoted base is bewildering.

Why, for instance, would evangelicals fawn over a man who so epitomizes immorality? What do defense hawks see in a president who cozies up to America's adversaries and antagonizes its allies? And how can the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan stand by a president so intent on undoing their legacies?

The new book by Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, to be released Tuesday, should force at least some of Trump's backers to reconsider a thing or two about the president they have praised so lavishly.

Democrats have long loathed Bolton for his hawkish positions, especially his support for the 2003 Iraq invasion that turned into a foreign policy debacle. Their opinion of him dropped even further when he chose to save his revelations for a lucrative book contract, rather than to testify in the House impeachment hearings.

It is easy to be cynical about Bolton, who should have told Congress what he knew about the Ukraine shakedown and other presidential misdeeds. But the fact that he is so disliked by Democrats and occupies a space on the GOP’s right wing only makes his withering critique of the president more potent.

OPPOSING VIEW: Geoffrey Berman, was indeed fired unceremoniously and without explanation over the weekend. It remains unclear, however, whether the bank investigation played any role in the clumsily executed ouster.

By itself, Bolton’s book probably would not be a watershed moment. So-called kiss-and-tell tomes rarely are. But "The Room Where it Happened" comes on top of so much more. These include Trump’s abuses of office uncovered in the impeachment investigation, his inflammatory reaction to anti-racism protests, his bungling of the coronavirus response and his eroding poll numbers. 

Bolton's "bombshells" shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Even so, perhaps this latest addition to the mountain of evidence about the president's unfitness for office will be a last straw for some of his backers. If that happens, Bolton will have belatedly performed a public service, even as he serves his own financial interests.

USA TODAY's editorial opinions are decided by its Opinion email newsletter. To respond to this editorial, submit a comment to letters@lightfiretech.com.

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