President Donald Trump went on the offensive against John Bolton over the latter’s leaked manuscript on Wednesday, accusing the former national security advisor of bad judgement and calling his forthcoming book “nasty and untrue.”
“For a guy who couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the UN years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, ‘begged’ me for a non-Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying ‘Don’t do it, sir’, takes the job, mistakenly says ‘Libyan Model’ on TV, and many more mistakes of judgment, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?” Trump ranted.
....many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020
“Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this ‘nonsense’ a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated. He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!” Trump added, referring to leaked excerpts from an unpublished manuscript of Bolton’s book in which he allegedly expressed concerns to Attorney General William Barr about the president giving favours to the Turkish and Chinese presidents.
Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this “nonsense” a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated. He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020
Earlier, in a separate leak, Bolton claimed that Trump had told him that he wanted to freeze $391 million in military aid to Ukraine until Kiev assisted him with an investigation into the alleged shady activities of the Biden family in Ukraine. Trump rejected the claims, accusing his former advisor of making up sensational claims to “sell a book.” According to Trump, the publicly available transcript of his telephone calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky contained "all the proof that is needed” to clear his name.
Also on Wednesday, CNN reported, citing sources, that the White House issued a letter to Bolton trying to block the publication of his forthcoming book. Later, AFP reported, citing the letter, that the administration had barred the release of Bolton's book over "top secret" reportedly contained therein. The White House did not immediately comment on the reports. A day earlier, Trump’s impeachment legal defence team told reporters that they were not concerned about the possibility of Bolton testifying in the impeachment trial.
Bolton, who left the Trump White House in September 2019 after clashing with the president on foreign policy, refused to provide a deposition to the House during the impeachment inquiry in November, but said that he would testify in the Senate trial if pressed to do so.
The House moved to impeach Trump late last year, accusing him of abusing his power by allegedly pressuring Ukraine to restart an investigation into Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine between 2014 and 2019, on pain of withholding close to $400 million in military aid to Kiev. Democrats claim the effort was an attempt to ‘get dirt’ on Joe Biden, Trump’s possible rival in the 2020 presidential race, and an abuse of his office. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, while his Republican allies have accused the former vice president of selling access to the Obama White House through a $50,000 a month no-show job for Hunter Biden with Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Biden successfully pressured Kiev into stopping a criminal investigation into Burisma in 2016 after threatening to withhold $1 billion in economic aid.