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Hawks of a feather: Peter King backs John Bolton

Peter King as seen on Monday, October 30,

Peter King as seen on Monday, October 30, 2017 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

This originally appeared in The Point, the editorial board's newsletter for insiders. To subscribe, click here.

Hawks of a feather: Peter King backs John Bolton

Although the appointment of hawkish John Bolton as President Donald Trump’s third national security adviser has raised alarms on the left, Bolton does not require Senate confirmation and does not appear to need political cover as he assumes his position.

But there was Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) lending his support Wednesday in an op-ed published in The Hill, a Washington publication well-read by capital insiders.

King said James Finkelstein, the New Yorker who owns The Hill and is a friend of King, asked him to write the column. And you usually don’t have to ask King twice for his opinion.

“On an issue like this when it’s part of a national debate, I basically wanted to be heard,” King told The Point. “The Hill, it’s one of those papers in Washington that have influence, everyone reads it.”

King said his connection to Bolton goes back to the period from 2012 to 2015 when King contemplated a run for president and found himself on several panels with Bolton in New Hampshire. He said he has attended Bolton fundraisers and has received contributions from Bolton’s political action committee.

But his support for Bolton now is more pragmatic.

“Especially with the North Korea talks coming up, President Trump needs a realist there,” King said. “To me, he’s going to be able to spot what’s real and not real coming from North Korea.”

King said, “That’s one of the reasons I’m jumping on this . . . He could be a positive check on Donald Trump making too quick a deal.”

King chuckled when told that Liuba Grechen Shirley, a progressive Democrat running in her party’s primary for the nomination to take on King, now has something new on which to attack him.

“If I was on the left, maybe I’d be alarmed,” King said. “I just speak out on issues. I’m not just in this to get reelected.”

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