President Donald Trump has responded to the bombshell allegations made in his former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s upcoming book by claiming Bolton is at once lying and also divulging sensitive classified information.
During a Wednesday night interview with the president, Fox News host and close confidant Sean Hannity brought up the Justice Department’s attempts to prevent Bolton’s book from hitting bookshelves ahead of its June 23 release. Hannity also noted that federal prosecutors are apparently considering bringing up criminal charges against Bolton for allegedly sharing classified information.
Without specifically mentioning Bolton’s claims, which included accusations that Trump pleaded with China to help his re-election, Hannity asked the president to react to both the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations’ assertions and the DOJ’s actions to stop Bolton’s book from being released.
“Nobody has been tough on China and nobody has been tough on Russia like I have,” Trump boasted. “And that’s in the record books and it’s not even close. The last administration did nothing on either.”
Turning to Bolton, Trump insisted that he “broke the law” and was a “washed-up guy” whom he had taken under his wing by making him his national security adviser.
“He couldn’t get Senate confirmed so I gave him a non-Senate confirmed position so I could put him there and see how he worked,” he added. “And I wasn’t very enamored.”
Reiterating that Bolton “broke the law,” Trump complained that the one-time Fox News pundit shared “highly classified information,” noting that “he did not have approval that has come out very loud and very strong.”
While Trump repeatedly stressed to Hannity that Bolton’s book needs to be stopped because he is disseminating classified info, the president seemed to be singing a slightly contradictory tune to the Wall Street Journal hours earlier.
Reached for comment on the allegations in Bolton’s book, which the Journal had received an advanced copy of, Trump told the paper that Bolton “is a liar” and that “everybody in the White House hated” him.
Besides the China revelations, Bolton’s memoir also claims that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the president “is so full of shit” and that the two administration officials regularly shared their disdain for the president.