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

Florida cracks down on canine friends in brewpubs
Florida cracks down on canine friends in brewpubs

The state health department is trying to kick dogs out of local craft brewpubs, where they’ve long been as much of a tradition as cornhole, vintage board games and extra-hoppy India Pale Ales. Brewpubs are banding up to fight back, mounting a petition drive that asks local politicians to push the issue and allow man’s (and woman’s)...
Local appearance by Greene, Levine gets testy; Bob Graham joins in
Local appearance by Greene, Levine gets testy; Bob Graham joins in

Reaching for the most incendiary weapon in Democratic politics, gubernatorial primary rivals Philip Levine and Jeff Greene likened one another to President Donald Trump during a joint appearance at the Kings Point Democratic Club west of Delray Beach on Sunday. Former Miami Beach Mayor Levine and billionaire Palm Beach real estate investor Greene,...
Graham makes swing through south Florida, pushing public education
Graham makes swing through south Florida, pushing public education

Gwen Graham turned to the teachers union for help in the crowded Democratic primary for governor on Saturday, beginning the first weekend of early voting with a swing through Florida’s three largest counties on a rented school bus with Florida Education Association President Joanne McCall. Former U.S. Rep. Graham, one of five candidates seeking...
Young voters register in big numbers, will they show up at polls?
Young voters register in big numbers, will they show up at polls?

Nearly 20,000 new voters have registered to vote in Palm Beach County since Valentine’s Day — the day a gunman killed 17 students and staff at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and students subsequently responded with a nationwide voter registration drive targeting youth. Their efforts have paid off. Of the newly registered in Palm...
More than 800,000 have already voted in Florida’s Aug. 28 primaries
More than 800,000 have already voted in Florida’s Aug. 28 primaries

Voters line up at the Hagen Ranch Road Library west of Delray Beach — the most popular early voting site in Palm Beach County. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Turnout for Florida’s Aug. 28 primaries has already topped 800,000 — and that’s before in-person early voting has opened in more 45 of...
More Stories