CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the-- the President is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?
JOHN BOLTON: Honestly, I don't think there's evidence for that and I think it's a mistake, on the one hand, to say the Russian collusion theory was true. Which some opponents of Trump still can't let go of versus Trump himself --
CHUCK TODD: I'm not saying collusion. But Ambassador I'm not saying collusion on this --
JOHN BOLTON: Hang on. Hang on.
CHUCK TODD: Yeah.
FMR. AMB. JOHN BOLTON: Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. Versus the Donald Trump approach which is the Russians didn't do anything at all in the election. I think it's clear from all the data and it's been discussed publicly. Of course, the Russians tried to interfere in the 2016 election, and they're gonna try and do it again this year as well the Chinese and maybe the Iranians and the North Koreans. That's why during the Trump administration, whether the President was fully cognizant of it or not, the agencies and departments charged with trying to prevent that worked very hard to increase our defenses. So why is the president so defensive about Putin? As I said, I don't read anything into it necessarily. I -- if I had evidence, I would reveal it. I just don't know what to say other than if he likes dealing with strong authoritarian figures.
Watch Bolton's full interview from this week's edition of "Meet the Press":
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton joins Meet the Press to talk about reports of Russian bounties on American soldiers and what he saw working in the Trump White House.