John Bolton accused the White House of “censorship” in his first public comments since the impeachment drama ended.
During an appearance at Duke University, the former National Security adviser was tight-lipped about his upcoming book and complained that the Trump administration was trying to suppress some of its contents, the Washington Examiner reported. He went on to tease the audience by claiming that the parts of the book that touch on Ukraine, which attracted the interest of the media in the final stretch of the impeachment saga, are just the “sprinkles on the ice cream sundae.”
“He tweets, but I can’t talk about it. How fair is that?” Bolton said.
Bolton accuses Trump of censorship
In an ironic turn of events, the media and many Democrats praised Bolton — a former official in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations and a notorious war hawk — after excerpts of his book leaked to the press in the last days of the impeachment saga. Trump and his allies attacked Bolton, saying that he was a disgruntled former employee trying to make a buck off of the president’s trial, and the National Security Council raised concerns about “classified” information said to be contained in the tome, according to The Hill.
In his first comments since impeachment ended, Bolton said that he hopes his book makes it intact through potential “censorship” in the standard pre-publication review process. Bolton was coy about the book’s contents, citing potential legal action against him, but he was clearly eager to generate excitement before its March release.
Asked about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine, Bolton said, “You’ll love Chapter 14.” But he also intimated that scoops on Ukraine would be just a part of a final product that includes a host of far-ranging criticisms of Trump, saying, “This is an effort to write history, and I did it the best I can. We’ll have to see what comes out of the censorship.
Frustrated liberals push book boycott
Bolton left the White House in September after a dramatic falling out with Trump over clashing views on foreign policy. The president said that he fired Bolton, known for his aggressive stances toward North Korea, Iran, and other regimes, but the brash adviser said that he resigned.
The mustachioed Washington veteran had been seen by Democrats as a potential star witness in Trump’s impeachment, given his contentious history with Trump and excerpts from his book about Trump’s desire for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. But the Senate voted to reject witness testimony from Bolton and speedily acquitted Trump.
Some liberals have criticized Bolton for not testifying before Congress when he had the opportunity, slamming him as selfish and only interested in book sales. The hashtag “BoycottBoltonsBook” was even trending on Twitter Tuesday.
As gossip over Bolton’s book reached its peak in January, Trump blasted Bolton as an ineffective adviser who would have plunged America into “World war six by now” if he had gotten his way. Trump has rebuked Bolton for talking publicly about using the “Libya model” in regard to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Libya’s leader Moammar Ghaddafi ended up dead after a U.S.-led intervention, despite having given up his nuclear weapons in 2003.
At Monday’s event, Bolton slammed Trump’s attempt at diplomacy with North Korea as doomed to fail and suggested that Trump should take a harder line on Iran, which is suffering the effects of crippling sanctions. But Trump is the president of the United States, and Bolton’s just a hack peddling a book.
The real question that must be asked is why Bolton was working for Trump in the first place.