John Bolton

National Security Advisor

  • 1982-1983 Is reported that Bolton forcefully fired Lynne Finney, a legal adviser at USAID, when she refused to lobby for a weakening of restrictions on the sale of infant formula in the developing world. (USAToday)
  • 1994 Remarks about the U.N. headquarters: “The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” And “There’s no such thing as the United Nations.” (NYT)
  • 1994 A private contractor named Melody Townsel claims that John Bolton, then the attorney for International Business & Technical Consultants, Inc. (IBTCI), chased her through the halls of a Russian hotel "throwing things at [her], shobing threatening letters under [her] door and, generally, behaving like a madman." She claims the behavior was triggered by a critical letter sent to USAID of IBTCI and lasted for two weeks, during which time Bolton regularly pounded on her hotel door, shouted threats and made "unconscionable comments" about her weight, wardrobe and sexual preference. (DallasObserver)
  • 2002 Flies to Europe to confront Jose Bustani, the head of the U.N.’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and orchestrates Bustani’s firing in a move that a U.N. tribunal since judged unlawful. (LATimes)
  • 8/29/02 States that he believes Bush’s term “Axis of Evil,” in reference to Iran, Iraq and North Korea, is “more than a rhetorical flourish, it [is] factually correct.” (NYT)
  • 11/20/02 Says that he is “confident” that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction and that any U.S. involvement in Iraq would be minimal. (BBC)
  • 4/18/05 Is reported that Bolton often blocked Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice from receiving vital strategic information on Iran. Other officials had to find back channels to get such information to the heads of the State Department.
  • 5/12/05 The Senate Foreign Relations Committee sends Bolton’s nomination for ambassador to the U.N. to the full Senate, but refuses to actually endorse him for the job, citing allegations of anti-U.N. statements and a pattern of intimidation of subordinates. (NPR)
  • 7/30/05 Thirty six senators charge that Bolton was “not truthful” in his confirmation hearings, and urge President Bush not to appoint Bolton as ambassador to the U.N. (NYT)
  • 8/1/05 President Bush bypasses the Senate after a five-month showdown between the White House and Senate Democrats and appoints Bolton as ambassador to the U.N. via a recess appointment. (NYT)
  • 12/4/06 Bolton quits his job as UN ambassador on the eve of his temporary appointment expiring. (NBC)
  • 5/28/08 Security guards stop activist George Monbiot from making a citizen’s arrest of Bolton as Bolton gives a talk on international relations at a literary festival in Wales. (Telegraph)
  • 5/7/08 Advocates bombing Iran in the midst of the Iraq War. (FoxNews via YouTube)
  • 1/5/09 Writes an op-ed in the Washington Post that calls for a three-state solution to the Gaza Strip, where Gaza is controlled by Egypt, the West Bank is controlled by Jordan, and Israel is cooperative. (WaPo)
  • 6/3/11 Writes an op-ed in the WSJ calling Palestinian statehood a deceptive ploy and calls upon the U.S. to threaten cutting 50%-100% of its U.N. funding in order to stop a statehood resolution. (WSJ)
  • 2013 Chairs the Gatestone Institute, a nonprofit that publishes commentary and false news articles focused on the threat of Islam to the West.
  • 1/11/12 Endorses Mitt Romney for president. (CNN)
  • 8/22/13 Is reported that Bolton has begun hiring staffers to launch a bid for presidency in 2016. (NationalReview)
  • August 2014 Hires Cambridge Analytica to do work for The John Bolton Super PAC, paying the firm $1.2 million over the next two years for “survey research.” Cambridge Analytica used illegally obtained Facebook data from over 100 million users. (NYT)
  • 3/26/15 Writes an op-ed in the New York Times calling for the bombing of Iran in the midst of nuclear disarmament negotiations. (NYT)
  • 5/14/15 Says that he has no regrets about facilitating the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, and says that leaving Iraq was the greater mistake. (WashExaminer)
  • 5/9/16 Writes an op-ed supporting Brexit and criticizes President Obama for not being smart enough to also support Britain’s exit from the European Union. (NYDailyNews)
  • 8/25/16 In a keynote address to the American Freedom Alliance, refers to President Obama as a Muslim king, to laughter and cheers.
  • 12/16/16 Suggests that Russian election hacks are a false flag operation perpetrated by the Obama administration.
  • July 2017 Tells members of the Mujahedeen (MEK) at a Paris gathering that the Trump administration should embrace their agenda of regime change in Iran, and tells them that he will personally celebrate with them when they overthrow Iran’s current government. (Intercept)
  • 9/3/17 Suggests that his diplomatic solution to North Korea was to “end the regime.” (FoxNews via YouTube)
  • 10/9/17 Writes an op-ed describing President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal as a disaster and the only way to make America safe from an Iranian nuclear threat is to withdraw from the deal. (Hill)
  • 2/18/18 Writes an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that pre-emptively attacking North Korea is both legal and necessary for “self-defense.” (WSJ)
  • 2/19/18 Writes an op-ed that calls for retaliatory cyberattacks against Russia. (Hill)
  • 3/22/18 Trump names Bolton to replace H.R.McMaster as his National Security Advisor, the third television personality in a week to be brought into the highest echelons of the White House. (NYT)

 

As National Security Advisor (from 4/9/18)

  • 4/9/18 Fires National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton. (CNN)
  • 4/10/18 Fires White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. (USAToday)
  • 5/9/18 Is reported that Bolton is pushing to eliminate the top White House cybersecurity job, a position held by the departing Rob Joyce. The move would decentralize the U.S.'s response to cyberattacks and cyberwarfare. (Politico)
  • 5/10/18 The top National Security Council official in charge of leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic, Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, abruptly resigns, and the global health security team he oversaw is disbanded. The resignation comes on the same day that a new Ebola outbreak is declared in Congo. (WaPo)
  • 5/17/18 Announces that the U.S. would be pursuing the "Libya Model" for denuclearizating North Korea, referring to the process that removed Moammar Gaddafi's nuclear weapons program in 2003 but left Gaddafi without an insurance policy and resulted in the U.S. and British bombing his government and leading to his murder by revolutionaries. (WaPo)
    • 5/17/18 The assertion is walked back by Trump, who openly assures North Korea that its leader Kim Jung Un will not be deposed, and will enjoy prosperity after denuclearization. (WaPo)
  • 6/7/18 Is reported that Bolton has not had a single National Security Council meeting on North Korea, and had been left out of the planned Singapore summit with Km Jong Un. (Politico)
  • 9/9/18 Threatens action against the International Criminal Court if it tries to prosecute Americans for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, and adds that the Palestinian Liberation Organization will be closed for seeking to punish Israel through the ICC. (Reuters)
  • 11/27/18 Says that there was no point in him listening to the audio of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder in a Turkish embassy at the hands of Saudi agents, saying: "Well, you want me to listen to it? What am I going to learn? I mean if they were speaking Korean I wouldn't learn any more from it either. I'm just trying to make the point that everybody who says, 'Why don't you listen to the tape?' — unless you speak Arabic, what are you going to get from it?" (Hill)
  • 1/13/19 Is reported that Bolton asked the Pentagon to provide strike options on Iran in 2018, alarming Pentagon and State Department officials. (WSJ)
  • 1/29/19 Holds up a notepad during a press conference that reads "5000 troops to Colombia" and tells the press regarding the note that "all options are on the table." (CNN)