John Bolton signs $2M book deal following White House departure: Report

November 11, 2019

President Donald Trump’s ex-National Security adviser, John Bolton, could be about to undermine his former boss with a “tell-all” book detailing their well-known foreign policy disputes.

According to the Associated Press, Bolton has signed a book deal worth approximately $2 million with Simon & Schuster — and though details about the deal remain sparse, many expect that Bolton will use the opportunity to take a jab at the president. 

Bolton picks up the pen

The AP cited three anonymous sources said to have “knowledge of negotiations” in their report, which noted that Bolton was represented by a literary agency called Javelin. The same agency reportedly also represented former FBI Director James Comey in his most recent book deal, as well as the “anonymous” Trump administration official whose book, A Warning, is set to be released later this month.

There is no known title or date of release for Bolton’s book as of yet, according to the AP’s sources.

Bolton was previously published by Simon & Schuster, under its conservative imprint Threshold Editions, with his 2007 book titled, Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad. Three years later, Bolton published another book, How Barack Obama Is Endangering Our National Sovereignty, but since then, he’s remained quiet on that front — until now.

A rocky past

News of the former National Security adviser’s book deal comes just weeks after his September departure from the White House, which came amid several well-publicized disagreements he had with the president over foreign policy decisions.

An established “hawk” on foreign affairs whose apparent first instinct is to use American military force to settle problems, Bolton clashed with Trump’s decidedly non-hawkish policies that typically seek to use economic — instead of military — pressure to achieve outcomes beneficial to U.S. interests. Indeed, one of the biggest sticking points between the two men was Trump’s openly friendly approach toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“Every day that goes by makes North Korea a more dangerous country,” Bolton warned in a speech after leaving the White House in September, according to MSN. “You don’t like their behavior today, what do you think it will be when they have nuclear weapons that can be delivered to American cities?”

Bolton, who took the role in April 2018, had been President Trump’s third National Security adviser. He has since been replaced in the role by attorney Robert O’Brien, according to CNBC.

An uncertain future

But just because he doesn’t work in the White House doesn’t mean Bolton hasn’t been in the headlines in recent weeks. Most recently, Bolton’s name has appeared in testimony from various officials as part of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump over his interactions with Ukraine’s new president.

Bolton was said to have been displeased with alleged back-channel negotiations between certain representatives of Trump and Ukraine, and according to Newsweek, one former official who worked for Bolton said the former National Security adviser had distanced himself from “whatever drug deal” was being “cooked up” by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Gordon Sondland and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney over a White House visit for the Ukrainian president.

Democrats have increasingly talked about calling Bolton in to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry, but Bolton’s attorneys have made it clear that he would only do so if subpoenaed and if a judge ordered him to do so.

To be sure, it is entirely speculative that Bolton would seek to publicly undermine Trump in a book or in testimony before Congress — but his past disagreements with the president certainly don’t make the future look very promising in that regard. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Ben Marquis

Ben Marquis is a staff writer for Conservative Institute.