Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders just revealed that former National Security Adviser John Bolton was a nightmare to work with during his tenure in the White House.
Bolton and Sanders were both prominent members of President Trump’s team at the same time, and Sanders told Axios that Bolton was “unpopular” long before his contentious exit from the administration.
The national conversation is consumed by Bolton’s memoir, set to be released on Tuesday, but Sanders herself is planning to release her own book about her time in the administration in the fall.
Sanders writes in her forthcoming memoir that “Bolton was a classic case of a senior White House official drunk on power, who had forgotten that nobody elected him to anything.”
Bolton reportedly thought that he played by a different set of rules than other White House officials, causing friction with his colleagues. Sanders recounted a particular instance that illustrated Bolton’s attitude at the time:
Bolton apparently felt too important to travel with the rest of us. As we were ready to depart for the Winfield House,” the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London, “we loaded onto a small black bus.
We waited and watched as Bolton sped by and left us in the dust. The discussion on the bus quickly moved … to how arrogant and selfish Bolton could be, not just in this moment but on a regular basis.
If anyone on the team should have merited a motorcade it was [Treasury Secretary] Mnuchin, but he was a team player and didn’t seem to mind traveling with the rest of us.
Additionally, Sanders said that Bolton attempted to act as if he was the president, pushing his own agenda despite President Trump’s wishes. Bolton’s alleged disrespect of the position led to an explosive confrontation with then-White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
When we finally arrived at the Winfield House, [chief of staff] Mick Mulvaney, typically laid-back and not one to get caught up in titles or seniority, confronted Bolton and unleashed a full Irish explosion on him.
Let’s face it, John,” Mulvaney said, according to Sanders. “You’re a f—— self-righteous, self-centered son of a b——!'”
That epithet … was the culmination of months of Bolton thinking he was more important and could play by a different set of rules than the rest of the team. … Bolton backed down and stormed off.”
Bolton’s senior adviser Sarah Tinsley denied that the events happened the way Sanders recounted, saying that “all logistical arrangements for travel of this sort were handled by the Secret Service, without any input from Ambassador Bolton.”