The Trump administration is pushing back hard on former national security adviser John Bolton and his efforts to sell a new book about his days in the White House. President Trump said Monday that his administration would take Bolton and his publisher to court to prevent what could amount to an unprecedented leak of classified information.
“He’s broken the law,” Trump told reporters. “They’ll soon be in court.”
Trump said that Bolton’s manuscript could include “highly classified information” that has not been cleared or declassified by the national intelligence apparatus in Washington. He called Bolton’s attempts to publish the book without full vetting “highly inappropriate.”
He also maintained that Bolton’s account of his time in the West Wing could easily be filled with lies.
“Maybe he’s not telling the truth,” Trump mused. “He’s been known not to tell the truth. A lot.”
Sitting beside the president, Attorney General William Barr said that Bolton “hasn’t completed the process” of getting approval from the federal government before going to press, and he said that a book of this nature about a sitting president was nothing short of “unprecedented.”
Asked what the Department of Justice might do to block the book, Barr said, “A number of things. But the thing that is front and center right now is trying to get him to complete the process — go through the process and to make the necessary deletions of classified information.”
Trump’s argument went further, declaring that any talks he might have had with his former adviser remain classified.
“I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified,” Trump said. “That to me is a very strong criminal problem. And he knows he’s got classified information.”
Whether or not Trump will actually be successful in bringing legal charges against Bolton for publishing this book, we have a feeling this will wind up being one of those “hot news one day, forgotten the next” books just like all the other Trump-insider tell-alls. Liberals are already shaming Bolton for not testifying during the impeachment trial, so there’s really no one left to hype this thing up. We’ll see a handful of juicy, behind-closed-doors stories (all of which will, of course, paint John Bolton in the best possible light), and then we’ll all move on.
At this point, the amount of interest left in the Ukraine controversy is too small to be measured by a microscope. Whatever else Bolton may have to say about it – truth, lies, or somewhere in between – he missed his opportunity to make people care.