Although former National Security Adviser John Bolton has kept a relatively low profile since his resignation in September, he hasn’t exactly kept his thoughts on President Trump’s foreign policy approach to himself.
According to a Tuesday report from NBC News, Bolton aired his suspicions over the motivations behind Trump’s foreign policy moves at a private Morgan Stanley global investment event in Miami last Wednesday, especially when it came to his policy on Turkey. Several people at the event told NBC News that Bolton suggested that Trump’s foreign policy decisions were influenced by personal or financial interests.
NBC News reported that six sources said that Bolton expressed skepticism about Trump applying his business acumen to foreign policy decisions, arguing that foreign policy moves don’t share the same win-or-lose nature as real estate deals.
NBC News added that the same sources said that Bolton’s private remarks outlined his thoughts on the President lacking an understanding of the consistency that foreign policy requires while also taking aim at both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Bolton’s remarks painted a grim image of the President’s family who he believes is guided by personal gain in the decisions they make for the country, according to NBC.
Multiple people who attended the event told NBC News that they do not recall Bolton mentioning Ukraine, but that he mentioned keeping a resignation letter in his desk for three months. Although Trump had claimed that he fired him, Bolton said that he resigned from his position.
Christopher Anderson, a special adviser for Ukraine negotiations and former aide to then-U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, said in a transcript of his impeachment inquiry testimony released Monday that he recalled Bolton saying that Rudy Giuliani was a “key voice” in Ukraine policy who would be an “obstacle to increased White House engagement” with the country during a meeting with Volker. Anderson added that after the United States called off a “freedom-of-navigation” operation in the Black Sea that was detailed in a CNN report, Bolton told Anderson that he had received a call from Trump “to complain about that news report.”
On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that Bolton directed the State Department to release $141 million in military aid to Ukraine several days before Trump claimed that he himself authorized its release.
Last week, Bolton skipped his scheduled impeachment inquiry testimony. On Friday, Bolton’s lawyer claimed that his client knows about “many relevant meetings and conversations” that are still unreported.
Read NBC News’ report here.