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John Bolton on Donald Trump and The White House with Emily Maitlis

President Trump's former National Security Advisor came to our stage days before what could be the most important presidential election in American history

John Bolton knows a thing or two about Donald Trump. So many things, in fact, that he’s now being investigated by the US Justice Department for potentially spilling classified information in his new book. Now he’s coming to Intelligence Squared to share what he knows – days before what could be the most important presidential election in American history.

As the President’s former National Security Advisor, Bolton had a front-row seat to the most explosive geopolitical events of our time. From the upheaval in Venezuela, to the erratic moves of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, the calculated provocations from Iran, the placating of an authoritarian China, and the shady dealings in Ukraine that led to a impeachment trial – Bolton was there, whispering in Trump’s ear.

Then it all went wrong. Bolton’s hawkish foreign policy stance clashed with Trump’s and he stepped down from his position. White House sources claimed Bolton operated a ‘my way or the highway’ approach. Bolton says Trump was a president ‘addicted to chaos’, who thought foreign policy was like ‘closing a real estate deal’ – all showmanship.  

In this exclusive Intelligence Squared event Bolton will discuss his book The Room Where It Happened, in which he presents one of the most damning accounts of the Trump presidency. He will be in conversation with Emily Maitlis, presenter of BBC Newsnight and one of the country’s best known broadcasters. She has carried out award-winning interviews with James Comey, Bill Clinton and the Duke of York.

How does Bolton rate Trump’s chances of re-election? What kind of second term president will he be if he wins? How will his handling of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement affect those crucial voters in the swing states? And will the battle to appoint a new Supreme Court justice change the dynamic – and outcome – of the election? Join us on October 28 – just six days before the election – as Bolton discusses a president he has called unfit for office, a country that is at its most politically divided in decades, and exactly what he thinks will happen on Election Day.




John Bolton

Former National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump and author of The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir

Former National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump. He served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006. He has spent many years of his career in public service and held high-level positions in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Ambassador Bolton is also an attorney, and was in private practice in Washington, DC, from 1974 to 2018, except when he was in government service. He is the author of  How Barack Obama is Endangering our National SovereigntySurrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the U.N. and Abroad and most recently The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir. 

Emily Maitlis

Lead presenter of BBC Newsnight and one of the UK’s best known broadcasters

Lead presenter of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight. She presents general elections for the BBC and covers US politics for the programme from across America. She has won plaudits for her longer form interviews for Newsnight, for which she has interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Clinton and the Duke of York. 


Speakers subject to change.