Bolton was paid $115,000 to participate in two panels sponsored by foundation of Ukrainian steel magnate

Bolton appeared at two events backed by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation before being tapped as President Trump's national security adviser.


National security adviser John Bolton was paid $115,000 in the last year to participate in two panel discussions sponsored by the foundation of an Ukrainian steel magnate — including one in Kiev last September, during which Bolton reassured the audience that President Donald Trump would not radically change U.S. foreign policy. 

"The notion that [Trump's election] is going to represent a dramatic break in foreign policy is just wrong," Bolton said, responding to a question from a British interviewer. He continued: "Calm down, for God's sakes." 

Bolton's appearances at the Kiev event and another event in Munich this February were paid for by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, according a financial disclosure form released Monday by the White House. 

A spokeswoman for Pinchuk, Natalia Vovk, said the group had invited Bolton to speak as part of an effort to "attract the best speakers who represent different points of view from the political spectrum of their countries." 

A spokesman for Bolton declined to comment. 

The payment from the Pinchuk foundation was the largest single speaking fee Bolton received in the past year, according to his disclosure. In all, Bolton reported making $747,000 in speaking fees and $2.2 million in total income, including $569,000 from Fox News, where he was a paid contributor. 

Pinchuk has spent years working to create closer ties between Ukraine and the United States and Western Europe. Along the way, he has also put money into the charities — and, sometimes, the pockets — of American political figures. 

Pinchuk has donated more than $10 million to the family foundationof former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. In 2011, Pinchuk met with one of Clinton's aides at the State Department to relay a message from Ukraine's then-president, Viktor Yanukovych. The meeting was described in Clinton emails later released by the State Department. 

In 2015, when Donald Trump was a leading GOP candidate for president, Pinchuk's foundation donated $150,000 to Trump's personal charity. The payment was for a 20-minute speech to the Yalta European Strategy group's 2015 meeting in Kiev, made by video conference. The New York Times later reported that Michael Cohen — Trump's personal attorney — was involved in arranging the payment. 

Bolton's first appearance at a Pinchuk-backed gathering came last fall, when he participated in a discussion panel in Kiev with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. 

Asked about Trump during the discussion, Bolton said "I didn't support him" in the GOP primary, according to a video of the event. He added that Trump "doesn't care as much about policy as other American presidents have. That doesn't reflect my view, but it reflects his view." 

A month before he replaced H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, Bolton appeared at another Pinchuk Foundation-backed event in Munich. 

He spoke about Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign and said he saw no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians, according to a video of the event. However, Bolton said that Russia's attempts to interfere in U.S. politics — including its efforts to help Trump — were "unacceptable." 

"I think that constitutes an act of war by Russia against the American constitutional system," Bolton said. 

In his financial disclosures, Bolton also reported a speaking fee from Deutsche Bank, which paid him $72,000 to give a speech in May 2017. The bank declined to comment on the contents of his address. 

In addition, the British bank HSBC paid Bolton $46,500 in June and August of last year to speak to two gatherings of its clients — hedge fund leaders and other investors — about recent world events, a bank spokesman said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

PolitiFact: How Trump flopped his position on family separations
PolitiFact: How Trump flopped his position on family separations

Since early June, President Donald Trump had insisted that his hands were tied and families who wanted to enter America without permission had to be separated. The adults went to one place to await criminal charges, while their children were sent to another facility. As the number of children being held rose above 2,000, Trump continued to blame the...
Shaking up cabinet to shrink the government
Shaking up cabinet to shrink the government

President Donald Trump, spurred on by conservatives who want him to slash safety net programs, on Thursday unveiled a plan to overhaul the federal government that could have a profound effect on millions of poor and working-class Americans.  Produced over the past year by Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, it would reshuffle social...
Who is Dolly Gee, the judge deciding the fate of Trump’s executive order?
Who is Dolly Gee, the judge deciding the fate of Trump’s executive order?

Judge Dolly M. Gee has called the treatment of immigrant children in detention “deplorable” in a legal opinion. She has castigated the federal government for “fear mongering” when it argued that the detention of migrant families at the border was a necessary deterrent.  And that was during the Obama administration. ...
Study: Republicans see ‘misinformation’ in media at twice the rate of Democrats
Study: Republicans see ‘misinformation’ in media at twice the rate of Democrats

Fresh data affirm a long-running crisis for U.S. media organizations: Republicans and conservatives just don't trust them. A May 2017 Pew Research Center noted in stark terms how the media-trust gap is widening between the parties. Now comes a Gallup/Knight Foundation survey with a finding that cements common wisdom on the topic.  Asked to estimate...
Tabloid allegedly ran stories by Trump before publishing
Tabloid allegedly ran stories by Trump before publishing

During the presidential campaign, National Enquirer executives sent digital copies of the tabloid's articles and cover images related to Donald Trump and his political opponents to Trump's attorney Michael Cohen in advance of publication, according to three people with knowledge of the matter — an unusual practice that speaks to the close relationship...
More Stories