During his tenure as national security adviser, John Bolton clashed with President Trump on his administration’s policies toward Russia, North Korea, and Afghanistan, among other geopolitical hotspots.
Trump declared he fired Bolton last month; however, the pugnacious hawk claimed he quit. Given the acrimony, it seemed unlikely that would be the last we’d hear of Bolton.
We were right. Now, it appears, Bolton is determined to get the last laugh. (Washington Post)
As the leaks over the Ukraine scandal multiplied, several of the news accounts citing former officials contained exonerating statements to the effect that Bolton objected to Rudolph Giuliani’s machinations and opposed halting aid to Ukraine. That was a telltale sign that Bolton, an adept government infighter with strong media ties, was likely behind some of the revelations.
Fast forward to Monday’s testimony before House lawmakers from Fiona Hill, formerly the National Security Council’s top Russia expert who reported to Bolton. The Post reports:
In a closed-door session that lasted roughly 10 hours, Hill told lawmakers that she confronted Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, about Giuliani’s activities which, she testified, were not coordinated with the officials responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy, these people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to disclose details of her deposition.
In what surely will be long-remembered phrases, she reportedly testified that Bolton had called Giuliani a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up” and had declared “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and [acting chief of staff Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up.” Aside from adding some colorful commentary to the Giuliani-Trump skullduggery, Bolton’s reported statements confirm that pressure on Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden was not part of official U.S. policy (i.e. was a personal/partisan matter Trump delegated to his fix-it guy) and that Bolton recognized it was inappropriate, if not illegal.
Of course, that is Jennifer Rubin’s opinion writing for the Washington Post. Regardless, there’s now evidence that Bolton is pushing a narrative damaging to the president, which the mainstream media desperately wants to believe.