Under Consideration

John Bolton


    John Bolton. Photo source: C-SPAN
    John Bolton. Photo source: C-SPAN

    Trump’s likely pick for deputy secretary of state, Bolton has ties to the anti-Muslim movement and is vocally anti-refugee

    John Bolton is a lawyer and former diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Bolton now spends a large portion of his time traveling the country and speaking at anti-Muslim and right-wing conferences.

    • Bolton was endorsed as potential secretary of state by Frank Gaffney, an anti-Muslim figurehead and conspiracy theorist who heads the Center for Security Policy.
    • He spoke at at various “National Security Action Summits” in 2015 organized by the anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy, including events in South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
    • Bolton is a regular guest on Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio.
    • He was awarded the Center for Security Policy’s 2006 Freedom Flame Award.
    • Bolton was the keynote speaker at the far-right American Freedom Alliance’s 2016 conference, “Islam and Western Civilization: Can they exist?”
    • During the American Freedom Alliance conference, Bolton claimed his criticism of Islam “is not a question about religion,” but rather ideology. “And those who say that ‘when you talk about radical Islam you are insulting Muslims all over the world,’ are simply engaged in propaganda.”
    • Speaking to President Obama’s efforts to combat terrorism, Bolton has said, “His heart’s not in this.”
    • Bolton has said Obama is more worried about the “development assistance to alleviate poverty, as if there’s the slightest correlation at all between poverty and radical Islamic ideology or the terrorists,” adding, “In fact, the correlation goes the other way. It’s some of the wealthier, better-educated people who turn into terrorists.”
    • Bolton serves as chairman at the Gatestone Institute, a neoconservative think tank and advocacy organization founded by Nina Rosenwald, who author and journalist Max Blumenthal has described as “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate.” Under Bolton’s leadership, Gatestone has published articles such as “Islam’s ‘Quiet Conquest’ of Europe” and “Refugees or an Occupation Army?
    • After anti-Muslim Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders was found guilty of “inciting discrimination” for leading supporters in a chant against Moroccan immigrants, Bolton called the verdict “part of a phenomenon we see throughout the West of people who are really trying to suppress speech.”
    • After the deadly incident in Berlin in which a truck ploughed into a Christmas market, Bolton accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of exposing the country “to the risk of terrorism” by “ allowing this wave of refugees to come into Europe.” At the time of his comments, the event was still being investigated as an act of terrorism.

    Updated: 12/21/16

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