I sat down with Ambassador John Bolton in the OEOB Thursday at 11 AM:
HH: Mr. Ambassador, thanks for talking to me. It’s good to see you again.
JB: Glad to be with you.
HH: You’ve prepared your entire life for this job. And you arrive with the most disruptive
president since Andrew Jackson and a world order that is collapsing. Is the job what you
thought it would be, given all the years that you’ve studied the NSA?
JB: Well, I think it’s, it’s a job that really gives you an opportunity to serve the president who’s in
office. And every president has a different style. I think the job of the National Security Advisor
really is to make sure that whatever the style of the president, that he gets the information he
needs to make decisions, that he has the range of options that he needs, and then that those
decisions are carried out. So that’s my job. I think it’s fine that we’ve got a disruptive president
even in a kind of chaotic world because there are a lot of changes that need to be made. We’re
seeing a lot of due bills come due from the Obama administration so it’s very fast paced. But I
wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
HH: Let me ask you about your old job since it’s now open, United Nation ambassador. Your
recommendation to the President – twofold – what kind of personality, and should this be a job in
the Cabinet or should it be sub-Cabinet?
JB: Well, you know, on the second one, it’s really up to the president. He can make any job
cabinet rank. And he’ll make his decision as he sees best. I, I did not have Cabinet rank when I
was UN ambassador. I don’t think it affected me in any way either up at the U.N. or in my
dealings within the administration. I think it’s a job where you have to be prepared to get deep
into the substance of issues. I think it’s very important in implementing policy. And mostly what
you do at the U.N. is implement policy, that you understand the significance of the actions you’re
taking, and that you be part of a team. I felt very privileged when I was there. I helped make
policy, but I helped mostly to carry policy out.