Donald Trump says his former national security advisor John Bolton would have taken the US to World War Six if he had stayed in position.
The US president made the remark amid a list of criticisms of his former top aide on Twitter in response to reports that Bolton is set to release a new book that could harm Trump's impeachment defence.
Referring to "mistakes of judgement", Trump taunted the known warmonger as the "guy who couldn't get approved for the ambassador to the UN years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since".
He said Bolton had then "begged me for a non-Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don't do it, sir'."
"Takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on TV, and many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty and untrue book."
"All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"
The "Libyan Model" alludes to the moment that saw to Bolton's demise from his position in the White House after suggesting the US would take inspiration from Libya on how to negotiate with North Korea.
Bolton maintains that he was not fired from his role.
The barrage of tweeted criticisms from Trump on Wednesday came after The New York Times released a manuscript it obtained from Bolton's new book.
In it, it said Trump had told Bolton that he would withhold hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid to Ukraine until its government could help with an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
These claims, if true, would be a huge contradiction to the defence in Trump's ongoing impeachment case - and could potentially harm his cause.
"Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this “nonsense” a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated," Trump tweeted earlier on Tuesday evening.
"He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!"
- Bolton's bombshell throws a wrench in Trump's impeachment defence strategy
- Dershowitz says 'nothing' impeachable about Bolton allegations
- GOP senators under pressure for witness testimony at Trump trial after Bolton revelations
A number of Trump allies have since expressed both anger about the claims and nervousness about the soon-to-be-released contents in the rest of the book.
"There is no way in the world President Trump would say this to John Bolton," the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tweeted.
He added: "It’s a shame that a man will sacrifice his integrity to make a few bucks on a book. No wonder he accomplished so little as National Security Advisor."
He went on to call Bolton, who spent 17 months in his position at the White House, a "backstabber" in an interview with CBS.
Democrats are now keen to call Bolton as a witness in the impeachment trial but would need the approval of four Republican senators - something that could be difficult to achieve.