How John Bolton's new book deal could be very bad news for Trump
In September, former National Security Adviser John Bolton became the latest person to leave the Trump Administration on bad terms with the president — and according to a report by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, Bolton’s months in the White House will be the subject of a book by the neocon megahawk.
The Daily Beast, on September 16, reported that the 70-year-old Bolton had been talking to literary agents, and Swan reports that according to two sources, Bolton is now being represented by Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn at the literary agency Javelin. One of Latimer and Urbahn’s previous clients was former FBI Director James Comey.
It remains to be seen what Bolton will discuss in his book, but Swan notes that senior officials in the Trump Administration have “privately expressed concerns” about what he will have to say in light of the fact that he previously wrote a book about his time in the George W. Bush Administration. Bolton’s previous book, “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad,” came out in 2008.
It also remains to be seen how soon Bolton’s new book will come out, but when Swan appeared on MSNBC’s “First Look” on Friday morning, he predicted that it would most likely come out sometime before the 2020 election. And Swan also said that Bolton, unlike former Defense Secretary James Mattis, would be likely to openly criticize the Trump Administration in his book. Mattis doesn’t attack Trump in his book, “Call Sign Chaos,” which came out in early September and was co-written with Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense.
“Bolton is the Trump Administration official who saw the most in terms of national security decision-making — the most sensitive decisions and conversations made in this Administration — who appears to be willing to talk about that in fairly candid terms,” Swan told MSNBC.
One thing that could drive sales of the book is an increased emphasis on foreign policy and international relations thanks to Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and fears that doing so could lead to a resurgence of the terrorist organization ISIS (Islamic State, Iraq and Syria). And if the Democratic presidential nominee — whether it’s Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders or someone else — chooses to attack Trump on foreign policy, that could make Americans curious what Bolton has to say whether they share his neoconservative views or not.
When Trump chose Bolton as his new national security adviser in April 2018, it was a surprising pick. Bolton is an unapologetic neocon, while Trump is much more of an isolationist and has been greatly influenced by paleoconservative Patrick Buchanan (who has been vehemently critical of Bolton, The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol, Norman Podhoretz and other neocons). And when he was in the White House, Swan notes in his Axios article, Bolton “clashed bitterly behind the scenes” with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.