A. Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, publicly stated that John Bolton, her colleague, regularly violated State Department rules on travel and notification of meetings.
According to AP’s Barry Schweid, Jones said that Bolton’s behavior was “symptomatic of his determination not to work with other people.”
This from the AP report:
John R. Bolton, the embattled nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, regularly tried to set up meetings abroad with Russian, British and French officials without notifying the U.S. Embassy or the State Department, the outgoing head of the department’s European bureau said Friday.
On each occasion, Bolton ultimately received permission to hold the meetings before they actually were conducted because State Department officials found out about his plans, A. Elizabeth Jones, assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
But Bolton, who is undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, persisted in trying to set up subsequent meetings on his own, Jones said.
“It’s symptomatic of his determination not to work with other people,” she said.
On foreign trips, particularly to Moscow, “He was off on his own doing by God what he pleases,” Jones said. “It is a State Department rule these meetings must be coordinated with the embassy.”
Asked if the State Department has such a rule, department spokesman Adam Ereli said, “Foreign travel is coordinated with those who it needs to be coordinated with.” He said the coordination usually involves the local U.S. embassy, the State Department or both.
On Thursday, Ereli said he knew of no meetings Bolton had with foreign officials abroad without the embassy’s knowledge.
“John Bolton coordinated with the proper officials in all cases that I know about,” Ereli said.
Poor Adam Ereli. He must be trying very hard to keep from finding out any cases in which Bolton might have done something that was violations of rules, procedures, and protocol when it came to diplomatic contacts and coordination.
Everyone else in senior positions in the State Department seems to have quite a number of John Bolton “misbehavior” stories.
I don’t mean in any way to disparage Mr. Ereli. But at some point, the denials of wrong-doing and the attempts by State to white wash what are clearly rogue behaviors by Bolton goes beyond what could politely be called “absurd”.
— Steve Clemons