As the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, Bolton surely had insights into how Trump worked and access to secret information like no other. But he's not just a consultant like many others before him who served the President. He wanted to help shape politics, influence the decisions of the US president.
He is seen as a vestige of the Neocons who came to power with George W. Bush and brought so much suffering to the people of the Middle East that Barack Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize - simply because it appeared that he stood for it a different policy.
For Bolton, the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was far from reaching all of the region's goals.
His ultimate goal was Iran. In the 1990s, he also had Taiwan pay him to apply for recognition by the United Nations, and he also repeatedly advocated an attack on North Korea. But it was Iran that really ate him up. In 2015, he even wrote an opinion article in the New York Times, arguing for a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities without worrying about the consequences.
As a National Security Advisor, he apparently did a lot to involve the United States in a war with Iran. According to President Trump, that was one of the reasons why Bolton had to or wanted to go, depending on which side you want to believe.
He also considered himself a defender of Israel during his time as US ambassador to the United Nations. It even went so far that even the Israeli UN ambassador Dan Gillerman jokingly said at a 2006 event by B'nai B'rith in New York:
”The secret is out today. We are actually not just five diplomats (at the Israeli UN embassy). We're at least six with John Bolton.”
In November 2018, he was honored by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) with the "Defender of Israel" award after the organization, together with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, had been working since summer 2017 for belittling Bolton's predecessor, the highly decorated general HR McMaster, and for his appointment as National Security Advisor.
A year earlier, Bolton received the "Guardian of Zion" award from the religious-Zionist Bar Ilan University in Israel.
So John Bolton knows exactly what influence different pro-Israel organizations have in the USA. It is hardly a coincidence that he now turned to the Israeli media to warn against Donald Trump's re-election in November.
In an interview with Channel 13 television on Thursday, he said that the US President's policy could change after the election. In his latest book (The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir), he had already pointed out that Trump wanted to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Sarif at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, last year. If he decides to go for a diplomatic initiative with Iran, it is a "risk" for Israel.
Bolton should be aware that this will cause organizations like AIPAC, ZOA, CUFI and countless others to mobilize their members against Trump if he is said to be a threat to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the relations between his country and the USA in exuberant tones when Bolton visited Jerusalem on June 23, 2019.
Netanyahu was absolutely right to do so. Trump had broken with all traditions of previous US administrations and recognized the annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, had the US embassy relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and gave Netanyahu the green light to annex large parts of the West Bank.
But there is hardly any prospect that Washington could deviate from its "maximum pressure" course against Tehran, which would contribute to de-escalation in the region, all of this is forgotten and Trump is being generated into danger.
Since the book was published, Bolton has been on a sort of revenge campaign against Donald Trump for failing to strike Iran after a US drone was shot down. It was one of the "most unprofessional decisions" he had made in his long career, he writes.
He said to Trump that "the use of violence against the Iranian nuclear program could be the only permanent solution".
At a later point in time, the president himself said: “You tell Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu] that if he uses violence [against Iran] I will support him. I already told him that, but you tell him again.”
If what Bolton says in his book was true, then he must have felt almost like a marathon runner a few miles from the home stretch at that moment. In fact, during a visit to Israel shortly before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, he spoke of the fact that the United States should also take care of the "threat" from Syria, Iran and North Korea after the subjugation of the two countries. When Trump did not start, the marathon for Bolton was over without him reaching his goal.