What To Know About Fox Contributor And Possible Trump Secretary Of State John Bolton

Trump Rumored To Be Considering Warmonger And Benghazi Conspiracy Theorist As Nation’s Top Diplomat

President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly considering numerous right-wing media personalities and cast-off Republican figures for key positions in his incoming administration. John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush and a longtime Fox News contributor, is seen as a front-runner for secretary of state.

A “Bully” And “Menace” Unfit For International Diplomacy

A Foreign Policy Hawk Intent On Starting War With Iran

A Benghazi Conspiracy Theorist

A Defender Of Islamophobia

John Bolton Seen As Trump’s Top Choice For State Department

Huff. Post: Trump Leaning Toward “Bellicose,” “Hawkish,” And “Militant” John Bolton For Secretary Of State. According to The Huffington Post, John Bolton, who “remains one of the most disliked foreign policy operators on the world stage,” is considered the leading candidate to be the next secretary of state in President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration. If selected to run the State Department, Bolton would edge out two other top contenders for the post: Rudy Giuliani, a former Fox News personality, retired New York mayor, and Trump campaign surrogate; and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As the Huffington Post notes, Trump would be “shattering his pledge to work peacefully with other countries” by appointing Bolton, who, in addition to being widely disliked, is known as “a bellicose enemy of Russia,” “has called for the bombing of Iran,” and is one of “the most hawkish” members of the Republican Party’s foreign policy establishment. From the November 14 article:

President-elect Donald Trump is leaning toward naming as secretary of state John Bolton, a bellicose enemy of Russia and Iran who is among the most hawkish members of the Republican foreign policy community, according to two sources familiar with Trump’s thinking.

Bolton is the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but served less than two years, as Democrats banded together to block his long-term appointment. His time was marked by a rapid uptick in anti-American sentiment among the global diplomatic community. Bolton remains one of the most disliked foreign policy operators on the world stage.


Bolton would be an aggressive selection for Trump, shattering his pledge to work peacefully with other countries. Bolton, who has called for the bombing of Iran, held high-level roles in three different Republican administrations between 1998 and 2006. He is now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank whose vice president has described Trump as “an idiot.” [The Huffington Post, 11/14/16]

Bolton Previously Flirted With Using His Fox News Platform To Launch A Presidential Bid. In January 2015, despite having never held elected office and being nearly a decade removed from his last administrative post, Bolton was rumored to be considering his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination, using frequent appearances on Fox News as a paid contributor to boost his name recognition among Republican primary voters in much the same way former Fox personalities and GOP candidates Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee had done. [Media Matters, 1/23/16]

Fellow Republicans And Diplomats Consider Bolton “A Menace” Unable And Unwilling To “Make Friends And Build Alliances”

Rand Paul Slammed Bolton As “A Longtime Member Of The Failed Washington Elite” And “A Menace” To National Security. In an op-ed published by the right-wing blog Rare.us, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slammed Bolton as “a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose” and argued,“No man is more out of touch with the situation in the Middle East or more dangerous to our national security than Bolton.” Paul concluded his screed, which described Bolton as “a menace” and warmonger, by arguing that appointing Bolton would signal that Trump has broken his “promise” to change the course of American foreign policy. From the November 15 op-ed:

All nuance is lost on the man. The fact that Russia has had a base in Syria for 50 years doesn’t deter Bolton from calling for all out, no holds barred war in Syria. Bolton criticized the current administration for offering only a tepid war. For Bolton, only a hot-blooded war to create democracy across the globe is demanded.


At a time when Americans thirst for change and new thinking, Bolton is an old hand at failed foreign policy.

The man is a menace.


The true statesmen realizes, with reluctance, that war is sometimes necessary but as a country, we should resist any would-be leader who wants to bomb now and think later.

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on changing our disastrous foreign policy. To appoint John Bolton would be a major first step toward breaking that promise. [Rare, 11/15/16]

The Economist: Bolton’s Tenure At United Nations Was Marked By “His Inability, Or Unwillingness, To Make Friends And Build Alliances.” In an article outlining Bolton’s resignation from his post as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, The Economist noted Bolton’s unique unfitness for international diplomacy and “his inability, or unwillingness, to make friends and build alliances in an organisation where networking, compromise and consensus are the order of the day.” The article quoted one ambassador who described Bolton as “a bully” and another senior official who said Bolton radicalized a bloc of 131 developing countries, led by China, which were aligned against American interests. From the December 7, 2006, article:

Indeed, probably his most noted trait during his brief 16-month stint in New York has been his inability, or unwillingness, to make friends and build alliances in an organisation where networking, compromise and consensus are the order of the day. “Instinctively, he's a bully,” one Western ambassador complained. “He has succeeded in putting almost everyone's back up, even among America's closest allies.”

The most vocal advocate of UN reform has come to be seen as one of the main obstacles to change. “Bolton's main achievement has been to unify the G77 [a group of 131 developing nations plus China] and to radicalise them,” says a senior UN official who was previously well disposed towards him. “Without him, the reform process would have been much easier. That doesn't mean that all he has done has been negative. We needed someone to put his foot down. The big problem with Bolton is not what he has tried to achieve, but his style.” That is a view with which many seem to agree. [The Economist, 12/7/06]

Bolton Has Consistently Tried To Get The U.S. To Start A War With Iran

Bolton: “If We Had A Real President” The U.S. Could “Overthrow” The Iranian Government. During a recent interview with Fox host Martha MacCallum, Bolton claimed that “if we had a real president” the United States could “overthrow the regime in Tehran.” He contended that Iran was “pushing us around for everybody to see” and claimed, “we don’t have a president who’s demonstrated competence in difficult international confrontations like this.” From the September 19 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

MARTHA MACCALLUM (CO-HOST): What's going on here?

JOHN BOLTON: Well I think this is yet another example of Iran's effort to show that it is the dominant power in the Persian Gulf, pushing us around for everybody to see, letting the Arab states there know that they're not really in the kind of defensive position with us that they want to be in. And I think we've now passed the point, we may have passed it some time back, where we really ought to be deciding on some kind of strategic response, not responding to this provocation or that provocation, but doing something about this to demonstrate to the leadership in Tehran it’s unacceptable. Let me just say, I have zero faith the Obama administration will do anything like that.

MACCALLUM: There was one quote, it was an unnamed source within the U.S. Navy, it said  in a -- I believe it was a Washington Post piece -- of the U.S. saying we wanted to test the Iranian reaction. Is that wise?

BOLTON: Well I think if they thought they had some indication from leadership in the White House that they'd be backed up, that would be a different thing. I assume we've been flying these reconnaissance missions right close to the Iranian territorial waters for quite some time. If we haven't been, that's a mistake I'm glad is now corrected. But as aggravating and as potentially dangerous as the boats running against our destroyers, the threat to shoot down our planes, as bad as that is, if you escalate, you'd better be prepared to think what it means if the Iranians escalate as well and what your strategic objective is. The Obama administration's strategic objective is to be nice to Iran. So I think you could end up in a worse situation if we escalate and then back down at a higher level. That's why my hope is that everybody goes to sleep for the next four months and that we have a new president who's really prepared to deal with Iran because the lesson being taught around the world here is the United States just isn't pushing back.

MACCALLUM: You could get yourself in a red line sort of situation if you're testing this, and as you say, you're not prepared to take the next step, and you don't know what that next step is. So you would recommend that we not do any sort of stronger show of force in that area with larger naval ships or aircraft carriers that kind of thing because we're not prepared to follow through?

BOLTON: Well, if we had a real president I would be prepared to do a lot of things. I mean, ultimately I think our objective should be to overthrow the regime in Tehran, but that's obviously not the policy we have now, and we don't have a president who's demonstrated competence in difficult international confrontations like this. I understand why people are irritated by what the Iranians are doing. They're clearly advancing their interests over ours, but we need to be prepared to do it right if we're going to respond. I don't see that in the White House. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 9/13/16]

Bolton: Deal To Curb Nuclear Program Is “An Absolute Disaster.” Bolton blasted the nuclear agreement with Iran as a “diplomatic Waterloo” that will “pave the way for a #NuclearIran” and labeled the deal “an absolute disaster”:

[Twitter.com, 7/14/15, 7/14/15]

Bolton Penned A 2015 New York Times Op-Ed Advocating For Bombing Iran Instead Of Engaging In Diplomacy. Bolton wrote a New York Times op-ed titled “To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran,” claiming that “Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program” and that the “inconvenient truth is that only military action ... can accomplish what is required” to rid Iran of its nuclear program. From the March 26, 2015, op-ed:

The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel's 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.

Rendering inoperable the Natanz and Fordow uranium-enrichment installations and the Arak heavy-water production facility and reactor would be priorities. So, too, would be the little-noticed but critical uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan. An attack need not destroy all of Iran's nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what's necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran's opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.

Mr. Obama's fascination with an Iranian nuclear deal always had an air of unreality. But by ignoring the strategic implications of such diplomacy, these talks have triggered a potential wave of nuclear programs. The president's biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East. [The New York Times, 3/26/15]

Bolton: Interim Iran Nuclear Agreement “Is Abject Surrender By The United States.”  In a piece for the conservative Weekly Standard, Bolton wrote that the so-called “interim agreement” between Iran, the United States, and five other countries to wind down the Iranian nuclear program was “badly skewed from America's perspective" and was an “abject surrender by the United States.” From the November 24, 2013, post:

This interim agreement is badly skewed from America's perspective.  Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement.  Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.”  This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran's claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States. [The Weekly Standard, 11/24/13]

Bolton: “The Preemptive Use Of Military Force" Is “The Only Thing” That Will Prevent Iran From Obtaining Nuclear Weapons.”  In 2012, Bolton claimed that “diplomacy has failed” and “sanctions have failed” to rein in Iran’s domestic nuclear program. He predicted that “the most likely outcome now is that Iran will get nuclear weapons” and “the only thing … that’s going to stop that potentially is the preemptive use of military force.” From the March 7, 2012, edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:

JOHN BOLTON: Well, you know, the fact is over three American administrations -- Clinton, Bush, and now, Obama -- we have failed utterly to stop the obvious effort by the regime in Tehran to get nuclear weapons. And right now, we're just at the end of this long, sad saga. Diplomacy has failed. Sanctions have failed. They're going to continue to fail. And the most likely outcome now is that Iran will get nuclear weapons. The only thing at this very, very late date that's going to stop that potentially is the preemptive use of military force. I think it's very clear President Obama has no intention of using military force. That's why the spotlight is on Israel.

LOU DOBBS (HOST): Well, let's stop. Let's stop. Every time I hear anyone, including you, ambassador, whom I respect mightily, talking about military force, this becomes a word that is abstract and amorphous. The fact is, what do you mean? Do you mean sending in an invading force? Do you mean striking with tactical nuclear weapons? Do you mean what? What is nuclear force and how would it be applied and what would be the sacrifice and the cost to do so?

BOLTON: Well, military force, no need for nuclear weapons here. What we need to do is break Iran's control over the nuclear fuel cycle at certain key points. That can be done with precision air strikes. Look, it's a very unattractive option but the other option is not the world as it is today where Iran does not have nuclear weapons. That is not the option. That world is disappearing. The other option is Iran with nuclear weapons. Are there risks involved? Absolutely. [Fox News, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 3/7/12]

Bolton: “I Don't Think It's In Our Interest To Stay Out” Of A Potential War Between Israel And Iran. Bolton claimed that while “the use of military force against the Iranian program is a decidedly unattractive option” he did not think “we [would] be able to stay out” or that staying out of a war between Israel and Iran would be “in our interest.” From the February 3, 2012, edition of Fox News' America Live:

JOHN BOLTON: Well, I don't think we will be able to stay out [of a war between Iran and Israel], and I don't think it's in our interest to stay out. Look, the use of military force against the Iranian program is a decidedly unattractive option. There's no doubt about it. It's risky. It has potentially significant consequences. But the choice that we face is not between life as it is today compared to life after an Israeli military strike. It's life after that strike, compared to an Iran with nuclear weapons. So if you don't like Iran as the central banker of international terrorism, prepared to conduct terrorist operations on American soil, threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, engaging in terrorist activity worldwide, imagine how much worse it gets once they get nuclear weapons. [Fox News, America Live, 2/3/12]

Bolton: “The Better Way To Prevent Iran From Getting Nuclear Weapons Is To Attack Its Nuclear Weapons Program Directly.” Bolton dismissed the established sanctions regime  against Iran as “half-measures” that were “doomed to failure.” Bolton claimed that “the better way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons is to attack its nuclear weapons program directly.” From the January 11, 2012, edition of Fox News’ America Live:

MEGYN KELLY (HOST): You know, the Obama administration says it's basically imposed unprecedented sanctions on Iran and has urged our allies to do the same. We've seen tensions increasing as they've threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz. There's war games going on. They sentenced an American to death in Tehran. They threatened to block a U.S. aircraft carrier, and on it goes. It seems like things are getting more and more tense by the day. What should we be doing?

JOHN BOLTON: Well, I think all of these efforts are doomed to failure, and, in fact, the consequence of increasing the sanctions, if anything, is simply to persuade Iran to finish -- get on with the business of finishing its nuclear weapon, putting it in the position of North Korea, which we know has exploded two nuclear devices and which makes it a lot less likely -- in fact, probably makes it impossible -- to believe we would ever actually attack North Korea because of the fear of nuclear retaliation.

So I think this is going to be a very, very difficult year, and I think, quite honestly, half-measures like assassinations or sanctions are only going to produce the crisis more quickly. The better way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons is to attack its nuclear weapons program directly and break their control over the nuclear fuel cycle. [Fox News, America Live, 1/11/12]

Bolton: “We Should Be Prepared To Take Down The Regime In Tehran.” Bolton asserted that the Obama administration was sending “the message to Tehran” that it was “weak” and “not prepared” to stand up to Iran’s nuclear program. He concluded that “we should be prepared to take down the regime in Tehran.” From the October 30, 2011, edition of Fox News’ America’s News HQ:

JOHN BOLTON: I think the message to Tehran is that we have a weak administration. I think it's a message they have unfortunately already received. That's why they're brazen enough to plot an assassination attempt against the Saudi Arabian ambassador on American territory. They think they can get away with it. They think they can get away with helping the Assad regime repress the people of Syria, and so far they're right. We are not prepared, have not been prepared, although we should be prepared to take down the regime in Tehran. [Fox News, America's News HQ, 10/30/11]

Bolton: “The Only Alternative To A Nuclear Iran Is To Break Tehran's Program Through The Targeted Use Of Military Force.” In an op-ed published by The Guardian, Bolton argued that “the unpleasant reality is that the only alternative to a nuclear Iran is to break Tehran's program through the targeted use of military force.” From an October 21, 2011, article:

The unpleasant reality is that the only alternative to a nuclear Iran is to break Tehran's program through the targeted use of military force, either by Israel, the United States or both. This is, to be sure, a risky, unpleasant and unattractive option. It is, nonetheless, far preferable to the only existing-and rapidly approaching-alternative, which is Iran with nuclear weapons. Although unwilling to say so publicly, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states have long privately hoped for leveling Iran's nuclear program. With the Iranian assassination plot now public, they might even smile publicly. [The Guardian, 10/21/11]

Bolton: “The United States Ought To Help Israel” Take Out Iranian Nuclear Reactor. Bolton suggested that “the United States ought to help Israel” “take out” Iran’s nuclear capabilities. From the August 17, 2010, edition of Fox News' Hannity:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): As we look at the country of Iran, though, and where their nuclear facilities are -- I mean it is spread all throughout the country -- the risk for the Israeli military would be enormous, because they’ve got to be able to penetrate deep into Iran at numerous locations. They'd need to do it, I would assume, simultaneously. There are refueling issues that they would face. Do you think this is even operationally possible for them to pull off in terms of taking out all the facilities they'd need to take out?

JOHN BOLTON: I think it is. I think it's a very difficult, very risky mission. I wish we weren't at this point. I think frankly the United States ought to help Israel do this. We're going to get blamed for it anyway if it happens but--

HANNITY: Yeah, but you don't see the Obama administration helping Israel in this, do you?

BOLTON: Of course not. Oh, absolutely not. They're pressuring Israel not to take any steps at all. I think they're prepared to live with a nuclear Iran. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/17/10]

Bolton Is A Benghazi Conspiracy Theorist Who Thinks There Was A Government “Cover Up” Of What Happened During The Attacks

Bolton: The Reason There Was No New Information In The GOP Benghazi Report Was Because The Committee Was “Obstructed.” Bolton claimed that “the White House and the State Department obstructed” the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi’s two-year investigation, calling the Obama administration’s supposed failure to comply with investigative requests a “stonewall.” Bolton disagreed with the Benghazi Committee’s finding no fault on the part of President Obama or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and contended that “the fact there's no new information on some key points reflects the obstructionism,” rather than the possibility that there was no new information to find. From the June 29 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:

JON SCOTT (HOST): Here with his take on it, John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a Fox News contributor. The point of Congressman Becerra and many other Democrats who've been talking about it is that there is nothing new in this report. Give us your take.

JOHN BOLTON: Well I think the thing that’s perhaps most important from what the congressman was saying is that Hillary Clinton certainly learned a lot when she served on Peter Rodino’s Judiciary Committee staff, working to impeach Richard Nixon. And we see in how the White House and the State Department obstructed the committee the ghost of John Ehrlichman. Remember his famous phrase, cover up, take the fifth, whatever it takes to save the plan, and that's what they did. This was a stonewall, and it's four years after the Benghazi attack, and still many questions are unanswered. So I'm afraid that that's the most important new thing we learned, it's really not that new, but that obstructionism works if you are diligent enough about it. I think the committee did everything they could to get answers to many of these questions and the fact there's no new information on some key points reflects the obstructionism, not the committee's failure. [Fox News, Happening Now, 6/29/16]

Bolton Misrepresented Comments From Hillary Clinton Noting That No American Lives Were Lost In The Ousting Of Libyan President Gaddafi. Bolton repeated talking points from the Republican National Committee (RNC) slamming Clinton for a supposed “gaffe” when she correctly noted during an MSNBC town hall on March 14 that no American service members were lost during the intervention in Libya. Bolton, along with many right-wing media outlets, conflated Clinton’s comments about the NATO-led intervention against the Gaddafi regime in 2011 with the isolated terrorist attack on an American facility in Benghazi, Libya, nearly a full year later:

[Media Matters, 3/15/16; Twitter.com, 3/15/16]

Bolton: “Let’s Not Ever Forget” How Clinton Handled Benghazi. During a speech at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference , Bolton attempted to blame then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for every perceived foreign policy shortcoming during the Obama administration, reiterating numerous debunked conspiracy theories about Clinton supposedly having misled the public about the causes of the Benghazi attacks as well as her alleged failure to respond to the attacks in a timely manner:

JOHN BOLTON: Let's not ever forget Benghazi. Now that may be what Hillary would like, but let's just examine it one more time. She says in her memoir, which I have read every painful page of -- and I don't recommend it -- she says in the memoir that it was the fog of war, that things were confused, that they didn't know what had happened. But she knew quickly enough to blame the famous Mohammed video. And she stuck with that story despite contrary evidence that emerged as the attack was going on. She is the one who so callously testified in the United States Senate. She said, “what difference at this point does it make” what the cause of that attack is. That is the demonstration of her fundamental inability to understand what's at stake in the war on terrorism. She -- she left her desk at the State Department the evening while the attack was still under way in Benghazi, when American embassies and consulates all across North Africa and the Middle East were under threat. She left the State Department to go home. Now I've worked for six different secretaries of state, very different people, different backgrounds, different personalities, different priorities. Not one of my bosses would have left the State Department where their people were still in trouble. [CSPAN, 2/27/15]

Bolton: The Obama Administration Refused To Say The Benghazi Attacks Were Terrorism, Either As “A Cover-Up” Or Because “The Administration’s Ideology Blinded Them To The Reality.” As part of his argument that the Obama administration attempted to “cover up” the terrorist motivations behind the attacks, Bolton falsely claimed that President Obama never referred to the Benghazi attacks as “an act of terrorism” and called evidence to the contrary “ridiculous.” According to CNN, “Obama did describe the killings in Benghazi as an act of terror twice in the two days after the attack.” From the May 14, 2013, edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

JOHN BOLTON: Well I think there are only two possibilities here. Either, beginning on September the 12th, it was a cover-up and the administration was lying to protect itself politically. Or two, worse in my view, is that the administration’s ideology blinded them to the reality of what’s on the ground. I’d prefer it was a cover-up because at least you can fix that. If the ideology’s the problem then we have four more years of it.

GREGG JARRETT (HOST): The president claims he called it immediately an act of terror the next day in the Rose Garden during his remarks.

BOLTON: That’s ridiculous. That is just ridiculous. And I think the fact that he repeatedly responded to questions about the attack by saying well we don’t know yet if it’s an act of terror and then extending out almost two weeks when he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly speech the whole world watches and repeatedly talked about the Mohammed video. He had plenty of chances to be explicit that it was an act of terrorism. He never took it up. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 5/14/13; CNN.com, 10/17/12]

Bolton Hinted At Torturing Suspects At Guantanamo Bay “To See What Might Have Happened” At Benghazi. Bolton suggested that the United States government “use rendition” to bring people suspected of planning and carrying out the Benghazi attacks  to Guantanamo Bay and try “a little gentle persuasion to see what might have happened.” From the November 20, 2012, edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

JOHN BOLTON: I think that it’s through the counter-terrorism efforts internationally of the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community that we’re most likely to find out who did it. Track them down and do that terrible thing that the Obama administration doesn’t like to do, use rendition to get these people to Guantanamo Bay and try a little gentle persuasion to see what might have happened. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 11/20/12]

Bolton Suggested Clinton Faked A “Diplomatic Illness” To Avoid Testifying About Benghazi. Bolton suggested that the concussion suffered by Clinton in 2012 was a “diplomatic illness” intended to delay her testimony to Congress about the Benghazi attacks. According to Bolton, “When you don't want to go to a meeting or conference or an event you have a ‘diplomatic illness.’ And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band.” From the December 17, 2012, edition of Fox News’ On The Record:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (HOST): Any problem with the secretary not testifying?

JOHN BOLTON: Well, I think she will have to testify at some point. You know, every foreign service officer in every foreign ministry in the world knows the phrase I am about to use. When you don't want to go to a meeting or conference or an event you have a “diplomatic illness.” And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band. I certainly hope it was nothing serious, but this was revealed in a way that I think was not transparent. And I think there is an obligation here, especially if Secretary Clinton decides to run for president, to indicate what happened. She may not be testifying this week, but she will not escape it forever. [Fox News, On the Record, 12/17/12; Nexis, accessed 11/16/16]

Bolton Has Made Excuse For Islamophobia, Has Promoted Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theories, And Has Ties To Anti-Muslim Extremists

Bolton: “What Is Wrong With Raising The Question” Of Whether The Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated The U.S. Government? In a radio interview with Frank Gaffney, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a ”notorious Islamophobe" and whose group, the Center for Security Policy, was designated as a hate group, Bolton defended former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her allies for calling for an investigation into whether government employees, including long-time Clinton aide Huma Abedin, were connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. Bolton said, “What is wrong with raising the question? Why is even asking whether we are living up to our standards a legitimate area of congressional oversight? Why has that generated this criticism? I'm just mystified by it.” From the July 24, 2012, edition of The Frank Gaffney Show:

JOHN BOLTON: I've been subject to -- I don't know how many security clearance procedures and I must say as irritating as some people may find them I think they are absolutely essential to making sure that people who work in sensitive positions in the national security field in our government are entirely loyal to the United States. I just think that's an absolute, fundamental prerequisite. Now people find them intrusive. They find them inconvenient. My response is, that's just too bad. And what I think these members of Congress have done is simply raise the question, to a variety of inspectors general in key agencies, are your departments following their own security clearance guidelines? Are they adhering to the standards that presumably everybody who seeks a security clearance should have to go through? Are they making special exemptions? What is wrong with raising the question? Why is even asking whether we're living up to our standards a legitimate area of congressional oversight? Why has that generated this criticism? I'm just mystified by it. [The Frank Gaffney Show, 7/24/12, via RightWingWatch]

Bolton Is The Chairman Of The Gatestone Institute, Which Has Pushed The Debunked Anti-Muslim “No-Go Zones” Myth. Bolton is the chairman of The Gatestone Institute, which describes itself as “dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report.” It has frequently written about alleged “no-go zones”:

No-go zones are Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims due to a variety of factors, including the lawlessness and insecurity that pervades a great number of these areas. Host-country authorities have effectively lost control over many no-go zones and are often unable or unwilling to provide even basic public aid, such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services, out of fear of being attacked by Muslim youth.

Muslim enclaves in European cities are also breeding grounds for Islamic radicalism and pose a significant threat to Western security.

Europe's no-go zones are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated from — rather than become integrated into — their European host nations.

The problem of no-go zones is well documented, but multiculturalists and their politically correct supporters vehemently deny that they exist. Some are now engaged in a concerted campaign to discredit and even silence those who draw attention to the issue. [The Gatestone Institute, 1/20/15]

Bolton Has Ties To Anti-Muslim Extremists. ThinkProgress reported in 2011, when Bolton was considering a presidential run, that Bolton “has been quiet about his ties to right-wing, anti-Muslim bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.” The Southern Poverty Law Center lists both Geller and Spencer, the co-founders of the group Stop Islamization of America, as anti-Muslim extremists. ThinkProgress reported that Bolton wrote the foreword for a 2010 book written by Geller and Spencer:

Spencer and Geller, who appear to have ideologically inspired Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik and received 174 combined citations in his manifesto, have a long history with Bolton going back as far as 2005 when Geller endorsed George W. Bush’s nomination of Bolton as U.N. ambassador.

Since then, Bolton has sat for multiple interviews with Geller and even wrote the foreword for Spencer and Geller’s 2010 book “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.” Bolton heartily endorsed their book, writing:

This book carries forward the ongoing and increasingly widespread critique of Barack Obama as our first post-American president. What it recounts is disturbing, and its broader implications are more disturbing still. Most Americans believe they elect a president who will vigorously represent their global interest, rather than electing a Platonic guardian who defends them only when they comport with his grander visions of a just world. Foreign leaders, whether friend or foe, expect the same. If, by contrast, Obama continues to behave as a post-American president, our adversaries will know exactly what to do. [ThinkProgress, 8/2/11; Southern Poverty Law Center, 10/25/16]