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Former national security adviser John Bolton at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in September. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former national security adviser John Bolton suggested in a private speech last week that President Trump's experience as a businessman colors his relationships with foreign leaders — often for the worse, NBC News reports, citing six people who were there.

Between the lines: Bolton suggested that Trump believes his personal chemistry with foreign leaders, including authoritarians like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, means that the U.S. relationship with those countries is a positive one, a source in the room told Axios' Jonathan Swan.

Details: Bolton was especially critical of Trump's handling of U.S. policy toward Turkey, telling the private gathering of Morgan Stanley’s largest hedge fund clients that the president's approach does not align with that any of his advisers.

  • NBC sources who attended the event said Bolton criticized Trump's resistance to bipartisan support in Congress for sanctions on Turkey after President Erdoğan purchased a Russian missile defense system.
  • If Trump gets re-elected, Bolton said the president could withdraw the U.S. from NATO and other international alliances in alignment with the isolationist foreign policy positions of people like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), per NBC.
  • Bolton also reportedly took shots at Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, suggesting he doesn't take them seriously but that they may convince the president to nominate a liberal to the Supreme Court in an effort to show they have real influence.

The big picture: Bolton, who has signed a $2 million book deal, is a wildcard in the House impeachment inquiry. Former and current administration officials told Swan that Bolton was a prolific notetaker and would have more details on Trump's Ukraine dealings than any other witness thus far.

  • Bolton's willingness to discuss internal White House matters in a private speech and in a forthcoming book is likely to raise questions about his decision not to comply with the impeachment inquiry on the basis of executive privilege.

Go deeper: Trump aides fear John Bolton's secret notes

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

Updated 10 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas "alternate" Trump electors

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) addresses the media after a House Jan. 6 select committee hearing in July 2021. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Friday announced subpoenas for more than a dozen people who led groups of "alternate electors" for former President Trump.

Why it matters: Slates of fake electors organized by pro-Trump forces in the wake of the 2020 election have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks around the one-year anniversary of the attack.