Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Ex-Trump adviser Bolton defends Milley: 'His patriotism is unquestioned' MORE reportedly criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE's foreign policy last week, accusing Trump of being motivated primarily by personal or financial interests in his dealings with Turkey.
NBC News reported Tuesday that Bolton made the comment at a private gathering last week in a global investment event organized by Morgan Stanley, at which he also reportedly took shots at Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE and Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe Mary Trump doesn't see her cousins connecting with GOP Rubio: Biden's new child allowance is 'first step toward a universal basic income' MORE, who remain White House aides.
NBC, citing people who heard the remarks, reported that Bolton said he believed Trump to be motivated by some personal or business relationship in Turkey, while questioning whether Trump should apply his business acumen to foreign policy.
His remarks come as Trump has faced heavy criticism for ordering a U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria, where Turkish forces have invaded Kurdish-held areas.
During Bolton's speech, the former national security adviser added that he kept a resignation letter ready in his desk for months before finally exiting the White House. He declined to comment to NBC News on that claim or others about his reported remarks.
House Democrats have attempted to obtain testimony from Bolton for the ongoing impeachment inquiry against the president, though those efforts have not yet been successful.
Bolton left the Trump White House earlier in 2019.