John Bolton’s book is out today. He will probably make a lot of money by trashing President Trump after President Trump was nice enough to give him a job in the administration. John Bolton is probably a very smart man, but his ideas about when to go to war did not fit in with President Trump’s ideas about when to go to war. Those who dislike the President will praise the book. Those who were there seem to have a different opinion.
Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article by Sarah Sanders. She obviously has a different perspective on events involving John Bolton.
The article reports:
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton might have won a battle or two in publishing his “tell-all” memoir of his time in the Trump White House.
But he’s losing a war when it comes to preserving his reputation in the wake of his betrayal of President Donald Trump and his administration.
And when former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders used a lengthy Twitter thread Monday to lay into Bolton by publishing an excerpt of her own memoir, it was clear another front had opened.
In the excerpt, Bolton comes off as almost embarrassingly “arrogant and selfish” — Sanders’ two words.
“Bolton was a classic case of a senior White House official drunk on power, who had forgotten that nobody elected him to anything,” she wrote.
By way of example, the excerpt in the Twitter thread recounted an incident during the 2019 presidential trip to London, where White House advisers — including then-acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin but without Bolton — traveled by a single bus from a hotel to the American ambassador’s residence, known as the Winfield House.
The group was supposed to be part of a motorcade United Kingdom security officials had arranged for White House staff because Trump would be traveling mainly by helicopter. Bolton, who traveled to the U.K. in a separate plane, was supposed to meet the rest of the staff with the motorcade at their hotel, Sanders wrote, but he never showed.
While the bus was en route, according to Sanders, police directed the vehicle to pull over to make room for a motorcade coming through – the motorcade carrying Bolton.
“The discussion on the bus quickly moved from casual chit chat to how arrogant and selfish Bolton could be, not just in this moment but on a regular basis,” Sanders wrote. “If anyone on the team should have merited a motorcade it was Mnuchin, but he was a team player.”
When the bus arrived at the Winfield House, Sanders wrote, Mulvaney (who’s now the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland) lit into Bolton.
“Mick made clear he was the chief of staff and Bolton’s total disregard for his colleagues and common decency was unacceptable and would no longer be tolerated,” Sanders wrote. “‘Let’s face it John,’ Mick said. ‘You’re a f—— self-righteous, self-centered son of a b——!’”
For an outsider reading that, the whole issue might sound a little petty – even funny.
But Sanders made it clear it was just an example that came from “months of Bolton thinking he was more important and could play by a different set of rules than the rest of the team.”
In a column for Fox News K.T. McFarland noted:
Bolton, McFarland wrote, “was so convinced of his superior intelligence that he was condescending to everyone, including the president. He was increasingly isolated within the West Wing; cabinet officers ignored him and went behind his back directly to the president. He even avoided contact with his own National Security Council staff.”
That behavior might not have been a surprise in light of the anecdote McFarland opened her column with. She wrote that she ran into Bolton in the green room at Fox News on Election Day 2016 and asked if he’d voted yet.
Bolton replied, according to McFarland: “Yes, for Trump. He’s an idiot, but anybody is better than Hillary Clinton.”
Obviously, a national security advisor who thinks the president he serves is an “idiot” is not going to make an ideal counselor.
McFarland’s time at the White House did not overlap with Bolton’s, but she wrote that she was aware of his performance through her acquaintances who were still part of the National Security Council.
“I heard from several of my former NSC colleagues who remained at the White House after I left that Bolton spent most of his time – when he wasn’t in the Oval Office – sitting in his office behind closed doors,” she wrote. “His staff wasn’t sure what he did for those hours on end. Now we know – he was, in all likelihood, turning his copious notes into a manuscript, presumably in anticipation of getting a lucrative book deal, and rushing it into print quickly when the inevitable happened and he was fired.”
Bolton, McFarland wrote, was also a chronic leaker, playing the Washington game of talking to reporters when he didn’t get his way in the White House.
I am sure we will hear more stories like this as the book begins to circulate. Bolton has set a very bad precedent by writing a tell-all book about an administration still in office during a re-election campaign. That is just tacky.