John Bolton, National Security Advisor

Wikipedia “(born November 20, 1948) is an American attorney, political commentator, Republican consultant and activist, government official and former diplomat who serves as the 27th National Security Advisor of the United States. He began his tenure as National Security Advisor on April 9, 2018.[6] Bolton served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006 as a recess appointee by President George W. Bush.[7] He resigned at the end of his recess appointment in December 2006[8][9] because he was unlikely to win confirmation from the Senate, which the Democratic Party had gained control of at the time.[10][11]

Bolton is a former senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI),[12] senior advisor for Freedom Capital Investment Management,[13] a Fox News Channel commentator, and of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis.[14] He was a foreign policy adviser to 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.[15] Bolton is also involved with a number of politically conservative think tanks, policy institutes and special interest groups, including the Institute of East-West Dynamics, the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Project for the New American Century, Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf, the Council for National Policy, and the Gatestone Institute,[16] where he served as the organization Chairman until March 2018.[17]

Bolton has been called a “war hawk” and is an advocate for regime change in Iran and North Korea and repeatedly called for the termination of the Iran deal.[18][19] He was an early supporter of the Iraq War and continues to back this position.[20] He has continuously supported military action and regime change in Syria, Libya, and Iran.[21][20] A Republican, his political views have been described as American nationalist,[22][23] conservative,[24][25][26][27] and “neoconservative“.[28] Bolton rejects the last term[29] and uses the term “pro-American” instead.[30][31][32] 

Major donors to the John Bolton Super PAC are Robert Mercer, who gave $4 million from 2012 to 2016; Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, and Los Angeles real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer. [Palmer started the downtown revival by developing huge Italianate apartment buildings along 2 major stretches of interstate on the edge of downtown.][191] After Bolton was appointed National Security Advisor in March 2018, the John Bolton Super PAC and the John Bolton PAC announced that their political activities were suspended temporarily, effective March 31, 2018. The Super PAC’s FEC filings showed a balance of $2.6 million in unspent donations at the end of March 2018.[57][200]

President Trump interviewed Bolton and three others to determine who to fill the position of National Security Advisor vacated by Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.[208][209] The position ultimately went to H. R. McMaster.[210] Trump “made a point on Monday of praising Mr. Bolton and saying that he would find a position for him in his administration eventually.”[211] Bolton was seen at the White House on the evening of March 6, 2018, presumably to be interviewed as a candidate for national security adviser.[212]

U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis greets the National Security Advisor-designate Bolton at the Pentagon in March 2018

The New York Times reported on March 22, 2018, that John Bolton would replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, which was confirmed by Trump in a tweet on March 22, 2018. Bolton began his position as National Security Advisor on April 9, 2018.[213][214] The New York Times wrote that the rise of Bolton and Mike Pompeo, coupled with the departure of Rex Tillerson and General McMaster, meant that Trump’s foreign policy team was now “the most radically aggressive foreign policy team around the American president in modern memory”, and compared it to the foreign policy team surrounding George W. Bush, notably with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.[215]

On April 10, 2018, Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert resigned at Bolton’s request,[216] and Bolton said he is considering a merger of the NSC with the Homeland Security Council.[217] During his first week in office Bolton requested and obtained the resignations of multiple National Security Council employees including NSC spokesman Michael Anton (April 8), deputy national security adviser Nadia Schadlow (April 10), and deputy national security adviser Ricky L. Waddell (April 12).[217] CNN reported in September 2018 that Bolton had significantly shrunk the number of NSC personnel, cutting it to under 300.[218][219]

On September 10, 2018, in his first major address as National Security Advisor, Bolton criticized the International Criminal Court, saying it lacks checks and balances, exercises “jurisdiction over crimes that have disputed and ambiguous definitions,” and has failed to “deter and punish atrocity crimes.” Calling the ICC a threat to “American sovereignty and U.S. national security,” Bolton said it is “superfluous,” given that “domestic judicial systems already hold American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards.” He added that the U.S. would do everything “to protect our citizens” should the ICC attempt to prosecute U.S. servicemen over alleged detainee abuse in Afghanistan, and it would bar ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the U.S. and sanction their funds. He also criticized Palestinian efforts to bring Israel before the ICC over allegations of human rights abuses in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.[220][221][222]

Bolton is skeptical of international organizations and international law, believing them to endanger American sovereignty, and does not believe they have legitimate authority under the U.S. Constitution.[224][225] He criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy for what he perceived as surrendering U.S. sovereignty.[226] He also prefers unilateralism over multilateralism.[224] In a 2000 article in the Chicago Journal of International Law, Bolton described himself as a “convinced Americanist”, favoring it over what he described as “globalism“.[227] In his roles in the U.S. government, however, Bolton has been more pragmatic in his actions regarding international organizations.[228]

Bolton has criticized the International Criminal Court, seeing it as a threat to U.S. sovereignty.[229]

Bolton is a critic of the European Union. In his book Surrender Is Not an Option, he criticized the EU for pursuing “the endless process of diplomatic mastication” rather than satisfactorily solving problems, and he labeled the organization’s diplomats as “EUroids”.[230] He has also criticized the EU for advancing what he considers liberal policies.[231] Bolton campaigned in Ireland against further EU integration in 2008, and he criticized the Treaty of Lisbon for expanding EU powers.[232] In 2016, Bolton praised the UK’s referendum vote to leave the EU.[233]

BACKGROUND

He declared himself in an interview with Edward Luce of the Financial Times in 2007 to be a “Goldwater conservative”, as opposed to being a neoconservative.[223] He also pointed out that he was a follower of Edmund Burke. He also said “I have always been a conservative. The idea of big-government conservatism has more neocon adherents than from unmodified conservatives.”

On episodes of Fox News in May and June 2008, Bolton suggested that Israel might attack Iran after US elections in November.[166][167]

In January 2009, Bolton proposed a three-state solution to the Arab Israeli conflict in which “Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty.”[168]

On July 27, 2009, Bolton was appointed to the board of directors for EMS Technologies, Inc. (ELMG), a Georgia-based tech company that subcontracts for many DOD contractors.[citation needed]

He is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel, including Red Eye.[169]

In 2010, Bolton co-founded the Friends of Israel Initiative with 12 other international figures.[170]

On Tuesday, September 6, 2011, Bolton announced on the Fox News show, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, that he would not run for President of the United States in 2012.[185]

Republican presidential-hopeful Newt Gingrich said that he would ask Bolton to serve as his Secretary of State.[186]

On January 11, 2012, Bolton endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican Nomination.[187]

Prior to it being de-listed by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2012, Bolton spoke in favor of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK), in at least one case being paid to do so. MEK has a long anti-American history.[176][177][178] According to the State Department, the MEK “[f]ollow[s] a philosophy that mixes Marxism and Islam.”[178] On January 25, 2011, Bolton drew a standing ovation at a MEK conference in Brussels for his support of the MEK, giving a speech in which he “backed MEK’s legitimacy, and the notion of removing it from the list of terrorist organizations”.[179] In May 2018, Joanne Stocker, a journalist and researcher studying the MEK, told Richard Engel of the MSNBC that she estimates Bolton was paid “on the low-end, $180,000”. Bolton’s office has refused to comment on the matter.[180]

According to the 5 U.S.C. app. § 101-required ‘US Public Financial Disclosure Report’ (2018) for Bolton, released by Al-Monitor, he has received $40,000 of speaking fee for “Global Events–European Iranian Events” on June 1, 2017,[181] the same day he made a speech for the MEK in a gathering in Paris, France.[182]

 

In 2013, Bolton set up the John Bolton Super PAC. It raised $11.3 million for Republican candidates in the 2014 and 2016 elections and spent $5.6 million, paying Cambridge Analytica at least $650,000 for voter data analysis and digital video ad targeting in support of the campaigns of Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and of former U.S. Senator (R-MA) Scott Brown‘s unsuccessful 2014 bid for a U.S. Senate seat for New Hampshire.[191][192][193] In September 2016, Bolton announced that his Super PAC would spend $1 million on (R-N.C.) Senator Richard Burr‘s reelection effort by targeting ads at “social media users and Dish Network and Direct TV subscribers”.[194]

The Center for Public Integrity analysed the John Bolton Super PAC’s campaign finance filings and found that they paid Cambridge Analytica more than $1.1 million since 2014 for “research” and “survey research”.[195]

On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Freedom Capital Investment Management appointed Bolton as a senior advisor to oversee the firm on international security, financial and political risks.[190]

According to Federal Election Commission filings, Cambridge Analytica was paid more than $811,000 by them [John Bolton Super PACs] in the 2016 presidential election;[196] in the same election cycle, the Super PAC spent around $2.5 million in support of Republican U.S. Senate candidates.[195]

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, Republican nominee Donald Trump named Bolton as a possible choice for Secretary of State. Appearing on Fox News’ Fox and Friends on December 1, 2016, Bolton admitted he was being considered as a Secretary of State candidate for the incoming Trump administration.[201][202] Several Trump associates claim Bolton was not chosen, in part, due to Trump’s disdain for Bolton’s signature mustache.[203]

The evening of December 10, the BBC cited NBC reports that “sources close to Mr Trump [were] … saying that Mr Tillerson is likely to be named next week” and that former UN ambassador John Bolton “will serve as his deputy“.[204]

Bolton has supported theories about the health of Hillary Clinton and about Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and in December 2016 Bolton stated that the conclusion of the United States Intelligence Community that Russian hackers intervened to help elect Donald Trump in 2016 may have been a “false flag” operation.[205] In a subsequent interview on Fox News, Bolton criticized the Obama administration’s retaliatory sanctions as insufficient and suggest that the US response should “make them [the Russians] feel pain”.[206][207]

Bolton stated that he aims to raise and spend $25 million for up to 90 Republican candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.[197] In January 2018, Bolton announced a $1 million advertising campaign in support of Kevin Nicholson’s bid for the Republican nomimation to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.[197][198] The Super PAC ran an ad campaign in the Green Bay area in January 2018; on March 19, 2018, the Super PAC announced a two-week $278,000 television and radio ad campaign in the Milwaukee area.[199]

 

Amb. John Bolton addresses Russians on the 20th Anniversary of its Constitution, promotion the right to bear arms.