Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has blasted former national security adviser John Bolton for being â€œa classic case of a senior White House official drunk on power, who had forgotten that nobody elected him to anythingâ€ and who sometimes â€œacted like he was presidentâ€.
Sanders, who has remained loyal to the president amid rumours of her own political ambitions in Arkansas, which her dad Mike Huckabee used as a springboard for two presidential runs, has a book out in September.
Itâ€™s called Speaking for Myself. Critics of Sanders will no doubt observe that during her time as White House press secretary, she rarely spoke for the president: daily briefings withered on her watch, shrank to nothing under her successor Stephanie Grisham, then made a comeback under the current occupant of the role, Kayleigh McEnany.
But here Sanders comes with a book and, in a very Washington way, she has provided a spot of exclusive â€œperfect smokey eyeâ€ to the Axios website.
During Trumpâ€™s state visit to London last year, Sanders writes, â€œBolton apparently felt too important to travel with the rest of us. As we were ready to depart for the Winfield House [the US ambassadorâ€™s residence] we loaded onto a small black bus.
â€œWe waited and watched as Bolton sped by and left us in the dust. The discussion on the bus quickly moved … to how arrogant and selfish Bolton could be, not just in this moment but on a regular basis.â€
Sanders also claims â€œBolton acted like he was the president, pushing an agenda contrary to President Trumpâ€™sâ€, and details a chewing out from then-acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who reportedly called Bolton â€œa fucking self-righteous, self-centered son of a bitchâ€.
Sanders doesnâ€™t print the swearwords â€“ I did that â€“ but she says â€œThat epithet … was the culmination of months of Bolton thinking he was more important and could play by a different set of rules than the rest of the team. … Bolton backed down and stormed off.â€
In response, Axios quotes Sarah Tinsley, longtime senior adviser to Bolton, as absolving him of such bad behaviour about transportation arrangements. She doesnâ€™t say whether he thought he was president.