WASHINGTON – Former national security advisor John Bolton expressed his frustrations Monday about the “censorship” from the White House regarding his new book.
Speaking at Duke University during his first public appearance since the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Bolton said, “I hope my book is not suppressed,” referring to the current battle between him and the White House over a pre-publication national security review of the material in the book.
Media reports from the event said Bolton called the leaks of his book about Ukraine “the sprinkles on an ice cream sundae” and said the book “is an effort to write history. We’ll see what comes out of the censorship.”
When asked about Trump saying the now-infamous call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, was “perfect.” Bolton responded, “You’ll love chapter 14.”
Calls for Bolton to testify in the Senate Impeachment trial were heightened after a New York Times report about Bolton’s manuscript claimed that Trump explicitly told Bolton he did not want to release the withheld aid until Ukraine helped with investigations related to the 2016 election and Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, who had business dealings in the country.
Despite the uproar, the Senate voted against motions to call additional witnesses.
Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened”, is supposed to be published on March 17. He said Tuesday, “I didn’t think I was obligated to go through prepublication review. When my first book came out I didn’t. But we’re in the process now,” adding, “and for now, I’m going to let it go.”
Bolton’s team submitted the manuscript to the National Security Council over a month ago for a standard review to see whether the book contains information that should not be made public.
The Trump administration has raised concerns that the book includes classified information.
Rep. Adam Schiff, who served as the lead House impeachment manager in the trial of President Donald Trump, said the former national security adviser declined to sign an affidavit about what he knew after the Senate voted against calling more witnesses.
“For whatever reason, he apparently was willing to testify before the Senate, but apart from that, seems intent on saving it for his book,” said Schiff, D-Calif.
Bolton also hit the administration on a few foreign policy issues during the event, saying it was “perfectly evident” that Trump’s North Korea policy “was going to fail” and that he doesn’t “think we are applying maximum pressure” to Iran.
Bolton is scheduled to appear Wednesday alongside President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice at an event at Vanderbilt University.
Contributing: William Cummings, David Jackson