John Bolton calls Trump a liar in clip from his primetime TV interview
John Bolton calls Donald Trump a liar in first clip from his primetime TV interview about his bombshell tell-all book after Bill Barr’s Justice Department sued to block its release
- U.S. attorney in D.C. filed suit against Bolton in federal court Tuesday
- John Bolton’s first interview about his blockbuster book will be a primetime sit-down with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz that will air Sunday night
- ‘This is the book Donald Trump doesn’t want you to read,’ says its release
- Trump says he fired Bolton in September; Bolton says he had already resigned
- The book, titled: ‘The Room Where It Happened’, paints a picture of ‘chaos’ in the White House; it is already in first place on Amazon’s best-seller list
John Bolton has called Donald Trump a liar in the first clip released from his primetime TV interview which is set to air Sunday.
Bolton’s first interview about his blockbuster book will be a sit-down with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz. A first look at the clip came on the day it emerged the White House had sued to block the release of Bolton’s tell-all.
The United States government sued the former National Security Advisor Tuesday, accusing him of breach of contract and claiming that publication of his book would unlawfully put out classified information.
Asked by Raddatz if the president is lying, the former National Security Advisor replies: ‘Yes he is and its not the first time either.’
The first clip from the interview also sees Bolton probed on whether he thinks US national security is stronger or weaker under Trump. Raddatz also asks ‘what would you call him?’ after noting Trump calls Bolton a ‘traitor’.
The clip does not yet reveal his answers.
But Bolton does acknowledge he has ‘not spoken with’ Trump since he left his role in September, adding that he ‘doubts’ he ever will again.
His memoir paints a picture of ‘chaos’ in the White House and a president focused exclusively on his own reelection, the book’s publisher is promising.
The book runs 592 pages, and according to the publisher touches on a range of countries where Trump exhibited inappropriate conduct.
John Bolton (left), President Trump’s former national security adviser, sat down for his first interview about his blockbuster book with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz (right). The interview will be a primetime Sunday night special, the network announced Monday
The United States government sued former National Security Advisor John Bolton, r, accusing him of breach of contract and claiming publication of his book would put out classified information
The lawsuit, filed by a U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., follows up on a threat leveled by President Trump that his former aide would experience ‘criminal problems’ if he went ahead with his tell-all.
The book claims Trump is willing to ‘endanger or weaken’ the U.S. to get reelected.
But it is not clear from the suit that DOJ would force a stop in publication. It claims Bolton violated non-disclosure agreements not to reveal classified information, but also lays out a lengthy review process the government failed to complete.
The Justice Department is asking the court to ‘instruct or request’ that that his publisher delay publication, allowing for the completion of a standard security review that has gone on for months.
It asks that the court instruct his publisher, Simon & Schuster, ‘retrieve and dispose’ of copies of the book ‘insofar as he has the authority to do so.’
It says Bolton ‘has breached his legal obligations’ embodied in Non-disclosure agreements he has signed.
The government also wants a judge to give taxpayers the right to claw back any earnings Bolton gets – following reports he got a $2 million advance. It asks to enjoin Bolton from releasing the book ‘in any form or media.’
Through the course of his job, Bolton ‘regularly came into possession of some of the most sensitive classified information that exists in the U.S. government,’ according to the suit, the Associated Press reported.
Trump fired Bolton in September after more than a year on the job – although Bolton says he quit first.
The government intervention– an extraordinary effort to restrain release of a book before it is published – came after Bolton had already kicked his press tour into gear and sat for the interview with ABC News.
On Monday, the network announced that Bolton had taped the sit-down interview.
Bolton calls Trump a liar in the first clip released from his primetime TV interview
Trump said Monday that ‘every conversation’ with him is ‘highly classified’
Anticipating the rollout, Trump said Monday that ‘every conversation’ with him is ‘highly classified’ suggesting former National Security Advisor could face criminal prosecution for the contents of his book.
That is a claim Bolton’s lawyers are certain to contest in court. The book, titled: ‘The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,’ is already in first place on Amazon’s best-seller list.
‘I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified,’ Trump told reporters Monday.
‘So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out he’s broken the law. I would think he would have criminal problems,’ Trump added.
‘I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,’ Bolton writes.
At the White House Monday, Barr said the current goal was to get Bolton to finalize the National Security Council security review process, in comments that were not as accusatory as Trump’s.
‘The thing that is front-and-center right now is trying to get him to complete the process, go through the process and make the necessary deletions of classified information,’ Barr said.
In a June 10 op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Bolton’s lawyer Chuck Cooper said the process was anything but standard.
‘What followed was perhaps the most extensive and intensive prepublication review in NSC history,’ Cooper said.
The House Intelligence Committee sought to bring Bolton in for testimony during its impeachment probe into Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine, but he didn’t participate, to the consternation of some Democrats who said he was saving material for his book.
‘The United States is not seeking to censor any legitimate aspect of Defendant’s manuscript,’ the complaint claims.
‘It merely seeks an order requiring Defendant to complete the prepublication review process and to take all steps necessary to ensure that only a manuscript that has been officially authorized through that process—and is thus free of classified information—is disseminated publicly,’ it says.
According to the complaint, Bolton’s lawyer contacted national security official Ellen Knight to begin a classification review on December 30, 2019.
A preliminary review concluded it ‘appears to contain significant amounts of classified information.’
After a series of steps, ‘On or around April 27, 2020, Ms. Knight had completed her review and was of the judgment that the manuscript draft did not contain classified information. Ms. Knight informed NSC Legal of the status of the review,’ according to the suit.
It was then publicly reported that the book would be released June 23. Bolton ‘did not inquire further with Ms. Knight about the status of the review or the letter he sought following May 7, 2020,’ and delivered the book to his publisher.
The suit was filed by a U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. a day after Trump and Bill Barr (pictured) spoke about the coming release of the book
The book’s epilogue describes battles with the White House over publication of the book, which is likely to continue to play out this week in court
NSC determined that the book ‘in its present form contains certain passages—some up to several paragraphs in length—that contain classified national security information’ and that publication would cause ‘irreparable harm.’
The government claims Bolton ‘breached his fiduciary duties by sharing drafts of The Room Where it Happened with others prior to the completion of the prepublication security review.’
A counsel to the NSC, Michael Ellis, had commenced a second review of the book beginning in May. Ellis was former counsel to the House Intelligence Committee where he worked for GOP Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
According to impeachment testimony by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, it was Ellis who acted on the order of a top NSC lawyer to move the transcript of Trump’s infamous July 25, 2019 call with the president of Ukraine to a highly-classified server.
Other testimony during impeachment, which resulted in Trump’s acquittal, had Bolton refusing to take part in a scheme he described as a ‘drug deal’ involving Ukraine.
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