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Politics John Bolton runs into potential ethics issues before he becomes Trump’s national security advisor

15:08  05 april  2018
15:08  05 april  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

Dana Carvey channels 'madman' John Bolton for Stephen Colbert

  Dana Carvey channels 'madman' John Bolton for Stephen Colbert Dana Carvey, iconic Saturday Night Live impressionist and the titular Master of Disguise, tackled someone Stephen Colbert called “more unstable than Donald Trump”: new national security advisor John Bolton. “Come on, Stephen. I’m not the madman the media, my words, and my behavior make me out to be,” Carvey’s Bolton said on The Late Show Wednesday night. “I’m a very gentle and nurturing man. To prove it, I’m going to breastfeed a puppy.” Colbert was concerned because the real Bolton once made a case for a pre-emptive attack on North Korea, and additional reports state he has a history of verbal abuse. An op-ed in the Spokesman-Review also pointed to a former government contractor who testified in 1994 that Bolton once “threw a tape dispenser at her, made offensive comments about her weight, shouted threats, chased her down a Moscow hotel hallway, pounded on her door, and ‘generally behave[d] like a madman.'” “And that was before that was considered presidential,” Colbert joked. But Carvey’s Bolton didn’t quell his fears. “It’s very important to me that nobody thinks President Trump is handing the keys to the war machine to some sort of hair-trigger lunatic,” the comedian said. “Because if I heard someone say that, I’d blow them up quick!” Over the course of the interview Bolton’s prime advisor, his mustache, kept getting larger. “General Snowball here just gets a bit engorged when he smells a war coming on,” Carvey’s Bolton joked. “You want action. Don’t you, boy? Easy, fellow. Here, have some shampoo.

John Bolton , who is days away from becoming President Donald Trump ' s national security advisor , has been meeting with White House attorneys about possible conflicts of interest, CNBC has learned. The exact sticking points for Bolton are unclear, but ethics experts say the appearance of a

John Bolton , who is days away from becoming President Donald Trump ' s national security advisor , has been meeting with White House attorneys about The exact sticking points for Bolton are unclear, but ethics experts say the appearance of a possible future role for Bolton with an entity such as a

John R. Bolton wearing a suit and tie © Provided by CNBC
  • John Bolton is continuing to meet with White House attorneys over possible conflicts of interest.
  • Bolton is slated to take over as President Trump's national security advisor April 9.
  • Bolton resigned from his foundation in March. His two political action committees have gone dormant, although both are currently holding on to money they raised.

John Bolton, who is days away from becoming President Donald Trump's national security advisor, has been meeting with White House attorneys about possible conflicts of interest, CNBC has learned.

The exact sticking points for Bolton are unclear, but ethics experts say the appearance of a possible future role with an entity such as a political action committee could be a cause for concern for White House officials. Bolton's PAC and super PAC, which are no longer receiving or spending capital, have been financial players in the early going of the midterm election cycle.

Mattis jokes to Bolton: 'I heard you're actually the devil incarnate'

  Mattis jokes to Bolton: 'I heard you're actually the devil incarnate' Defense Secretary James Mattis decided Thursday that the best way to break the ice during his first ever meeting with President Donald Trump's new national security adviser John Bolton was with a joke. "I heard you're actually the devil incarnate and I wanted to meet you," Mattis said in an off-microphone exchange that was captured upon Bolton's arrival at the Pentagon. Bolton laughed and the two men entered the building.In the days following Trump's decision to name Bolton as the replacement for outgoing national security adviser H.R.

John Bolton is continuing to meet with White House attorneys over possible conflicts of interest. Bolton is slated to take over as President Trump ' s national security advisor April 9. Bolton resigned from his foundation in March. His two political action committees have gone dormant

The national security adviser was ousted after clashing with President Trump over issues like Donald Trump ’ s invited the Taliban to Camp David the weekend before 9/11. Both Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton thought it was a mistake, but according to —.

White House lawyers and Bolton continue to discuss and review any potential conflicts of interests with the former U.N. ambassador, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told CNBC on the condition of anonymity. A spokesman for Bolton, however, said that there haven't been any issues.

"The ambassador's transition to national security advisor is going very smoothly and the ambassador will start on Monday," the spokesman, Garrett Marquis, told CNBC.

Bolton will replace H.R. McMaster in the role.

So far, Bolton has done everything that he's been advised to do, according to people familiar with the matter. When the White House suggested his PACs cease all political activity, including his super PAC, Bolton agreed.

There were also questions about his role as chairman of his nonprofit group, the Foundation for American Security and Freedom. Bolton internally announced in March that he will be stepping down from his foundation with the plan to take his name off the website on April 8, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Cambridge Analytica’s work for Trump campaign, Bolton super PAC prompts complaint to DOJ

  Cambridge Analytica’s work for Trump campaign, Bolton super PAC prompts complaint to DOJ Government watchdog groups demanded an investigation into whether laws barring foreign involvement in U.S. elections were knowingly broken.In complaints filed Thursday with the Justice Department, the watchdog groups allege that the firm, Cambridge Analytica, violated a law barring foreign nationals from participating in U.S. elections. And they accuse the Trump campaign and John Bolton Super PAC of knowing their actions were improper when they worked with the firm.

John Bolton , who is days away from becoming President Donald Trump ’ s national security advisor , has been meeting with White The exact sticking points for Bolton are unclear, but ethics experts say the appearance of a possible future role for Bolton with an entity such as a political action committee

John Bolton , who is days away from becoming President Donald Trump ' s national security advisor , has been meeting with White House attorneys about The exact sticking points for Bolton are unclear, but ethics experts say the appearance of a possible future role for Bolton with an entity such as a

Another representative for Bolton confirmed that he is continuing to meet with White House lawyers, but declined to comment further about the details of those conversations.

"The ambassador's conversations with White House attorneys are off-the-record conversations," the spokeswoman said.

Bolton and the White House did not return repeated requests for comment.

Bolton's PACs aren't officially shutting down

Ethics attorneys outside the administration are skeptical about Bolton's two PACs, the John Bolton PAC and Super PAC, not officially shutting down. A PAC is a committee that collects contributions to spend for or against certain campaigns. A super PAC, meanwhile, cannot spend on a particular candidate, but it is allowed to spend and raise unlimited amounts of money on independent entities that could sway elections, such as partisan television and digital advertisements.

The Latest: McMaster gets a parting ovation from WH staff

  The Latest: McMaster gets a parting ovation from WH staff Outgoing national security adviser H.R. McMaster is being "clapped-out" of the West Wing on his final day on the job by hundreds of cheering White House and National Security Council staffers arrayed on West Executive Avenue. Press secretary Sarah Sanders says McMaster and his family were greeted by President Donald Trump, who thanked him for his year-long service in the post. A three-star general, McMaster is set to retire from the Army later this year. Sanders says McMaster also held his final transition meeting Friday with his replacement, former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton. Bolton starts in the job on Monday.___3 p.m.The White House is praising Lt.

President Donald Trump abruptly announced in a tweet Tuesday that he has asked national security adviser John Bolton to resign, noting that he "strongly disagreed with many" of Bolton ' s suggestions "as did others in the administration.".

THE PRESIDENT’S ADVISERS -- “ John Bolton runs into potential ethics issues before he becomes Trump ’ s national security advisor ,” by CNBC’s Brian Schwartz: “ John Bolton , who is days away from becoming President Donald Trump ’ s national security advisor , has been meeting with

The Hatch Act doesn't require the PACs to dissolve. The law, which was first enacted in 1939 and is monitored by the government watchdog known as the Office of Special Counsel, or OSC, says federal employees "may not campaign for or against candidates or otherwise engage in political activity," but does not explicitly demand that political operations be entirely eliminated if they were previously run by White House personnel.

A representative for the OSC told CNBC that as long as Bolton's PAC wasn't raising or spending any money while he worked in the White House, it could still keep his name and would not be violating the Hatch Act.

"A federal employee whose name is also the name of a political action committee would be in violation of the solicitation provisions of the Hatch Act, if the PAC is soliciting or accepting donations," the representative said.

Paul Seamus Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the non-profit money in politics watchdog group Common Cause, said there could still be a conflict of interest because Bolton looks to be holding onto some authority within his two political fundraising assemblages.

Third top national security aide to leave White House

  Third top national security aide to leave White House Deputy national security adviser Nadia Schadlow has resigned, as new national security adviser John Bolton seeks to reshape his team. Schadlow is the third high-ranking national security official to exit or be pushed out of the White House since Bolton took over on Monday. "The administration thanks Dr. Schadlow for her service and leadership," said White House spokesman Raj Shah. "We wish Nadia and her family the best."{mos"/> html{font-size:calc(1em*.625)}@media screen and (min-width:837px) and (max-width:942px){html{font-size:54% !important}html #aside div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer,html .pagingsection div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer,html .sectioncontent div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer,html .stripecontainer div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer,html .tabsection div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer,html .todaystripe div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer{transform:translateX(-6.8%) translateY(-6.8%) scale(.864)}html #aside div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoices,html #aside div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoicesjs,html .pagingsection div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoices,html .pagingsection div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoicesjs,html .sectioncontent div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoices,html .sectioncontent div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoicesjs,html .stripecontainer div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoices,html .stripecontainer div:not(.widead) .outeradcontainer .adchoicesjs,html .

President Trump named John R. Bolton , a hard-line former American ambassador to the United Nations , to replace Lt. Gen. McMaster is the latest in a series of high-profile exits from President Trump ’ s administration. He will be replaced as national security adviser by John R. Bolton , a

“ John Bolton , who is days away from becoming President Trump ’ s national security advisor , has been meeting with White House attorneys about possible conflicts of interest,” CNBC reports. “The exact sticking points for Bolton are unclear, but ethics experts say the appearance of a possible

"He should shut it down because the general gist of the Hatch Act is that they shouldn't be maintaining a super PAC," Ryan said. "That's what we're talking about here. It goes against our ethics laws for someone to be maintaining a super PAC at any level when they are high level officials within the White House."

The Trump White House is no stranger to Hatch Act violations. In March, the OSC said senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway committed two violations during last year's Alabama special Senate election. The report claimed Conway "impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates" during two media interviews in the run-up to the election, but left it up to the president to move ahead with disciplinary action against her.

The White House has yet to bring down any form of punishment against one Conway, one of the president's key advisors.

What could happen to the money

Another issue that could pose a problem for Bolton is what happens to the millions of dollars being held by the PACs. People familiar with the groups' work said that they plan to hold onto the funds in the immediate future and do not intend to wind down their finances, at least for now.

Republican finance experts said that PACs sometimes hold onto their financial reserves as their leaders take jobs in the White House or any federal position as part of a larger deal with their new employer.

South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials

  South Korea's national security adviser in U.S. to meet Bolton: officials South Korea's national security adviser was in Washington on Wednesday for his first meeting with his new American counterpart, John Bolton, U.S. officials said, amid preparations for separate U.S. and South Korean summits with North Korea. Chung Eui-yong, who is due to see Bolton on Thursday, led the South Korean delegation that met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month and then traveled to the United States to convey to President Donald Trump a summit invitation from Kim.Trump accepted.

John Bolton , Trump ’ s ultra-hawkish new national security adviser , explained. President Donald Trump finally jettisoned National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Thursday afternoon. His replacement is John Bolton , the former ambassador to the United Nations in the Bush administration

WASHINGTON — President Trump was grousing about John R. Bolton , his national security adviser , at his Florida club not long ago. Guests heard the president complaining about the advice he was getting and wondering if Mr. Bolton was taking him down a path he did not want to go.

Charles Spies, leader of law firm Clark Hill's political practice and chief financial officer of Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, said there may have been an agreement between the Trump administration and Bolton to transfer fundraising power to a new leader while they maintain their financial apparatus.

"There would usually be an ethics agreement whereby the public official relinquishes all control over the political entity (in this case, the PAC), but it can either give the money away, or in theory could keep it with someone else having control over the accounts," Spies said.

Big money donors

The John Bolton Super PAC has been a big player during the early stages of the 2018 midterm elections. The group has raised $3.8 million in the most recent election cycle, including receiving the financial backing of this year's top Republican donor, Richard Uihlein, founder of the shipping supplies company Uihlein Inc. Robert Mercer, the former chairman of hedge fund giant Renaissance Technologies and a key Trump supporter, also contributed, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

So far, the group has spent $1.2 million with the majority of their funds going toward various advertisements and polls.

However, watchdogs such as Common Cause have brought the PAC's past spending efforts to light with a number of legal complaints filed to the FEC. All of the complaints relate to the Bolton groups' work with political data firm Cambridge Analytica, a company under scrutiny for gaining access to 50 million Facebook accounts and allegedly distributing user data to the Trump campaign in 2016.

Bolton's super PAC in 2014 spent $340,000 on what they described as research and then over $800,000 the following year. While it's unclear what was obtained through Cambridge Analytica's research, the New York Times reported in March that Bolton was purchasing services for "behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging."

The groups' decision not to close could reflect an ongoing legal inquiry. According to the FEC's rules and regulations, a PAC cannot shut down if they are involved with any type of official litigation or enforcement action.

The FEC declined to acknowledge whether it is investigating Bolton's super PAC.

Bolton meets with SKorea, Japan national security advisers .
President Donald Trump's new national security adviser held talks Thursday with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. John Bolton met with Chung Eui-yong, the South Korean official who last month announced outside the White House Trump's surprise decision to meet with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

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