John Bolton on Principles & Values



OpEd: Wrote book instead of testimony at impeachment hearing

Excerpts from a new book by John Bolton detailing his time in President Donald Trump's inner circle as national security advisor are drawing anger for the fact the new information is coming out long after the impeachment hearings from last fall, making the revelations more evidence that Bolton was '100% complicit' in the president's crimes.

Trump's overwhelming level of corruption and ignorance did not motivate Bolton to go to Congress when the body was investigating the president, as an anti-extremism advocate noted on Twitter. 'Friendly reminder that John Bolton, instead of telling Congress what he knew while they were holding impeachment proceedings, wrote a f---ing book.'

Source: Common Dreams excerpts from "The Room Where It Happened" , Jun 17, 2020

Declined impeachment testimony due to "personal involvement"

Bolton's book "The Room Where It Happened" is expected to detail other pressure campaigns on foreign governments beyond China and Ukraine, where the president's efforts to pressure the East European government to publicly investigate Joe Biden led to Trump's impeachment last year. 'I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn't driven by reelection calculations,' Bolton writes in the book.

Bolton, national security adviser from April 2018 until Sept. 2019, was a central figure in the Senate impeachment trial of Trump following the House's decision to forward two charges to the Senate for consideration: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. After Bolton didn't appear voluntarily before a House impeachment hearing in November, his lawyer told the investigating committees that his client was 'personally involved' in meetings relevant to the inquiry into whether Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine for political reasons.

Source: USA Today on hearings on impeaching Trump , Jun 17, 2020

Trump sought help from China in upcoming re-election

Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton has made a series of explosive claims about the US president in his new book "The Room Where It Happened." Most notably, Bolton claims Trump asked China to use its economic power to help him in the 2020 election.

According to the excerpt of Bolton's book published by the Wall Street Journal, Trump asked China to use its economic power to help him win a second election.

In one instance, Trump and President Xi Jinping were discussing hostility to China in the US. 'Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win,' Bolton writes.

'He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump's exact words, but the government's prepublication review process has decided otherwise.'

Source: The Guardian excerpts from "The Room Where It Happened" , Jun 17, 2020

Trump offered personal favors to foreign dictators

The book alleges several episodes in which the president's dealings with foreign leaders reflected an apparent single-minded desire to be re-elected. On several occasions, Bolton claims Trump expressing willingness to intervene in criminal investigations 'to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked.'

In May 2018, Bolton writes that Turkish President Erdogan handed Trump a memo claiming that the state-owned bank Halkbank, which was under investigation by the Justice Department, was innocent. 'Trump then told Erdogan he would take care of things, explaining that the Southern District prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people,' Bolton writes.

Bolton writes that he scheduled a meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr in 2019 to discuss Trump's alleged enthusiasm for doing favors for autocrats, and that Barr agreed that he was worried about the appearances created by Trump's behavior.

Source: Axios.com excerpts from "The Room Where It Happened" , Jun 17, 2020

Libertarian at home; but protected internationally

On domestic issues, he says, he's a self-proclaimed "libertarian," which he knows will jar people who think he's interested in running purely to irk Senator Rand Paul, another likely 2016 candidate and Bolton's ideological opposite on foreign policy. "My argument is that you can't protect your liberties at home unless we are protected internationally," he says. "I think that argument can have currency across the Republican spectrum."

"I can go to voters and tell them, without reservation, that I'm for limited government, as much as possible, on taxes, on regulations, but on foreign policy, I want to make sure we're protected," Bolton explains. "It'd be a mix of being against nanny-ism and libertarianism."

Source: Robert Costa in the National Review , Aug 22, 2013

Campaigns are about the horse race, & should be about policy

We now live in a time where there's not a lot of focus on foreign policy, except for lurching from crisis to crisis. It was even hard for John McCain, when I was working for him back in 2000, to get attention for his foreign-policy positions until he won the N.H. primary. We'd have him give a big speech on foreign policy and it'd promptly be ignored. Let's face it: Campaigns are now all about process, the horse race, and polling, and you can try to do something different, but it probably won't work.
Source: Robert Costa in the National Review , Aug 22, 2013

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Page last updated: Oct 10, 2020