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Former National Security Adviser John Bolton

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When former National Security Adviser John Bolton received a warning about President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani due to his suspected ties to Russian operatives, he wasted no time heeding the warning and urged his staff to steer clear of having any involvement or interactions with

The Daily Beast compiled a report based on what the publication described as "interviews with 11 knowledgeable sources" detailing Bolton's repeated attempts to maintain distance between his department and Giuliani.


It has been reported that in January of 2019, the intelligence community warned Capitol Hill and the White House that Giuliani was "a target of Russian intelligence operation to feed disinformation to Trump." As months passed, the warnings about Giuliani are said to have "intensified." The Beast reported:

Officials said the warnings about Giuliani intensified in the spring and summer of 2019 as the president's personal attorney appeared on television propagating disinformation about the Bidens and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Masha Yovanovitch. One ex-NSC official said that Giuliani, as a U.S. citizen, was neither named nor referenced in contemporaneous intelligence reports about Russian disinformation efforts. But Giuliani's alarming role was the subject of informal discussions between White House and intelligence officials.

A former official also raised concerns about Russia's server hack of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma—where Hunter Biden once served on the executive board. It reportedly led to "informed speculation among professionals that this would be the entrée to fabricate material connecting Hunter Biden to corruption inside Burisma, and it wouldn't take more than 10 percent truth."

Bolton even warned his subordinates to refrain from being in meetings with Giuliani present. In fact, Bolton's directives were so specific he even advised against his staff attending Trump's Oval Office meeting May 23, 2019 following the Ukrainian inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

An unnamed Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee also weighed in as he admitted that Giuliani had been a big topic of discussion.

"Rudy's been the topic of conversation a lot," said the other source, a Democratic member of the House intelligence committee. "Wittingly or unwittingly, Rudy seems to care more about what he can gain politically from his relationship and discussions with Russian assets than he does about how he might be being used."

When contacted about the latest debacle, Giuliani claimed he was unaware of Bolton's opposition toward him.

"I didn't find out that John was unhappy with me or opposed to me until he left [the administration]…I've known him for ten years," and claimed that "when I was being considered for Secretary of State, I told him I'd consider him for deputy."


Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.