News and Commentary

7 Things To Know About John Bolton
Former ambassador John Bolton sits down to talk with Andrew Wilkow on his show "The Wilkow Majority" at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM

With speculation growing that President-elect Donald Trump will nominate John Bolton to be the nation’s next secretary of state, The Daily Wire thought it prudent to provide readership with some facts about the former Ambassador to the United Nations (UN).

CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 20: Former ambassador John Bolton sits down to talk with Andrew Wilkow on his show ‘The Wilkow Majority’ at Quicken Loans Arena on July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)


Bolton generally opposes the erosion of American sovereignty via international institutions. As an example, he opposed President Barack Obama’s transfer of American control of the internet’s domain name system to a nonprofit entitled Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is mostly controlled by foreign states, including Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Venezuela, and many others with governments and cultures hostile to free speech and expression. The transfer raises concerns that such states will weaponize ICANN to implement online censorship and stifle the free exchange of information.

Another example is Bolton’s resistance to American enrollment in the International Criminal Court (ICC), an international court established at the UN via the 1998 Rome Statute which claims jurisdiction over prosecution of individuals for nebulously defined offenses: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crime of aggression. The ICC is managed by its state parties, making decisions via consensus in which signatory states all have an equal vote. The ICC’s state parties include countries such as Venezuela, Democratic Republic of the the Congo, and Honduras – all of which have equally weighted votes on ICC decision-making with countries such as the Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

In an op-ed published yesterday, Bolton called for President-elect Donald Trump to oppose the “advocates of global governance,” implicitly calling for the prioritization of the preservation of American sovereignty above internationalist prerogatives.


Bolton’s criticisms of the UN do not go so far as to call for the organization’ dissolution. He has called, however, for recasting US contributions to the UN’s operations as voluntary.

“All US financial support would be treated as voluntary rather than assessed,” wrote Bolton in a 2015 op-ed. Such a shift, he argued, would increase “competence, efficiency, and effectiveness” at the UN’s various agencies. With near-guarantees of funding, he implies, there is little incentive for the UN or its subsidiaries of conducting themselves properly. A better UN secretary general to relace Ban Ki-moon, he argued last August in an op-ed, would help combat the UN’s “sprawling disorganization, bloated budgets, biased and ineffective bureaucracies, and outright corruption.”

In the same August op-ed, Bolton criticized “supranational globalists” who view the UN as a vehicle through which to “restrain” American interests.


In a 2015 op-ed, Bolton expressed support for then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s “broad policy” of immigration reform proposals. Whereas the left and Democrat Party view immigration policy as needing to prioritize the interests of non-Americans, Bolton wants immigration policy to serve Americans’ interests.

Seemingly alluding to restrictions on the admission of foreign Muslims, Bolton wrote:

Confronted with ideological threats, America is entirely justified in raising appropriate immigration protections, which is neither unprecedented nor contrary to existing law. Even now, a central statutory requirement for U.S. naturalization is that applicants be “of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution . . . and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States.” That sounds very much like Mr. Trump’s speech, and hardly earth-shaking. Whether existing authorities suffice or whether new legislation is needed is unclear, but the broad policy isn’t.


Bolton has criticized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – otherwise known as the Iran Deal – as “the worst appeasement in American history” and a “diplomatic Waterloo.” He further described it as American acquiescence towards and legitimization of Iran’s Islamist regime.

The Iran Deal, says Bolton, frees the Islamist state from previously implemented financial and economics restraints placed upon it – particularly with respect to its dealing with the US and Europe. Further, he says the deal empowers Iran to determine for itself when it wants to develop nuclear weapons.

In an op-ed published yesterday, Bolton advises President-elect Donald Trump to “abrogate the Iran nuclear deal in his first days in office.”

Bolton also opposed the executive nature of the Iran Deal, in which the arrangement was not ratified as a treaty by the Senate. He added that the Senate has allowed its constitutional power as articulated in the Treaty Clause to “atrophy” over time, abdicating its power to the presidency.

Bolton has described Iran as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.


Bolton believes that American weakness – real or simply imagined by outsiders – is perceived as an invitation to intransigence by its enemies. He further believes that America must have both real and perceived strength on the international stage in order to deter belligerence from its enemies or other challenges to an American-led global order.

Bolton has criticized the worldviews of leftists and Democrats such as President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He argues that their shared view is one in which global disorder is a function of an overly assertive American projection of power.

In an op-ed published yesterday, Bolton wrote:

This is not to say that Obama did not have his own distinct — and badly misguided — worldview. In Obama’s opinion, and that of all of his top advisors, most definitely including Hillary Clinton, America’s global presence, its strength and assertiveness and its manifest success in protecting its allies and its interests actually contribute to tension, instability and outright conflict.

Under this worldview, American efforts at self-defense and mutual security are part of the problem, not the solution.

Bolton advocates for an ascendant America with greater power relative to its competitors on the global stage. He describes leftists and Democrats as wanting the opposite; a diminished America in the international arena in order to more equally distribute international power between states. Leftists and Democrats believe that a more equal international distribution of power would be beneficial, says Bolton.


Bolton operated three political action committees (PACs) during the 2016 election season, supporting then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and congressional Republicans feeling threatened by Democrat challengers.

Open Secrets reported that Bolton’s eponymous PAC – John Bolton PAC – spent over $5 million during the 2016 election season. The Hill reported that the PAC raised about $7 million.

Following the results of last Tuesday’s round of elections, Bolton released the following statement:

“I am very proud to have helped maintain Republican majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. With these majorities, President-Elect Trump will be able to effectively pass legislation that will strengthen our national security and grow America’s influence around the world.”

Marketwire reported:

Ambassador Bolton also played a major role in supporting the Republican Party on a national and statewide level. He traveled the country on behalf of the RNC, GOP state parties, and Republican candidates to raise money and advocate for strong foreign policies. He participated in nearly 40 GOP events and campaigned for congressional candidates in more than 16 states over the course of the last year.


Bolton received his B.A. and J.D. from Yale University. While at Yale, he apparently brushed shoulders with Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham. In an interview last month, he described the former first lady as a “radical” on campus. He later described her self-perception as arrogant, which he claimed maintained consistent through today. The Clintons, said Bolton, view themselves as “masters of the universe,” who by virtue of their shared left-wing political orientation wish to micromanage the lives of more ordinary Americans for whom they have contempt.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 29: Former United States ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on March 29, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Republican Jewish Coalition began its annual meeting with potential Republican presidential candidates in attendance, along with Republican super donor Sheldon Adelson. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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