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John Bolton says Nikki Haley should stay in 2024 presidential primary race through the GOP convention

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Some Republicans may be urging Nikki Haley to drop her presidential bid and step aside for former President Trump — but Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, disagrees with them all.

"I think she should stay in," he told CBS News in an interview Friday. "In fact, I think she should announce that she's gonna stay in through the [Republican] convention, no matter what happens in South Carolina, where it looks like she'll lose." 

Haley, he went on to say, "can carry the flag for everyone within the Republican party who doesn't want Trump to get the nomination." Yes, he conceded, "it's an uphill fight. There's no doubt about it." Trump won the Iowa caucuses by 30 points and beat Haley, his remaining competitor for the nomination, by over 10 points in New Hampshire last week. She has been trailing in polls in her home state of South Carolina, which holds its Republican primary on Feb. 24.

Bolton feels that "if Trump did run into trouble, for whatever reason, I would encourage other Republicans to consider coming back in — or those who didn't enter in the first place,  might yet consider coming in." He also believes that Trump "sees winning the election as the ultimate protection against a criminal conviction."

"And it's just not his style ever to withdraw from anything, which is one reason he is so dangerous," Bolton added. 

Bolton recently published a new foreword to the paperback version of his book "The Room Where It Happened," in which he warns about the dangers of a second Trump presidency.

"I think Trump will cause significant damage in a second term, damage that in some cases will be irreparable," Bolton said. He said he believes that Trump, who was a critic of NATO throughout his presidency, wants to withdraw from NATO. 

"I think he fully intends to do that," Bolton said. "I think that would be a catastrophic decision for America and a whole host of other things. It's a very grim prospect to see Trump in for a second term." 

A Biden campaign spokesperson highlighted Bolton's book, seizing on his warnings about Trump. Bolton called it "a compliment I don't need" but suggested it shows that his argument could resonate with voters. "I still think, no matter how how high the hill is to climb, that we've got a chance to deny Trump the nomination, and we should keep at it."

Bolton said that "it's as important a political priority as Republicans have ever had to try and deny Trump a re-nomination."

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller responded to Bolton's comments, saying, "For someone who professes to have such great disdain for President Trump, 'Book Deal Bolton' sure has found a way to grift off the relationship." 

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