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‘Any conversation with me is classified’: Trump says Bolton might face ‘criminal problems’ without clearance for tell-all book

‘Any conversation with me is classified’: Trump says Bolton might face ‘criminal problems’ without clearance for tell-all book
US President Donald Trump has said his ex-national security advisor John Bolton will run afoul of the law if he pushes ahead with the release of his new book, arguing all presidential conversations are “highly classified.”

With days left until Bolton’s controversial book – 'The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir' – is set to hit the shelves, Trump indicated that his administration will do everything to prevent it from seeing the light of the day.

Also on rt.com Bolton sparks rage with sudden claim to have evidence of Trump's ‘transgressions’ in promo press release for new book

Speaking alongside Attorney General Bill Bar on Monday, Trump took a dig at Bolton, saying that his former national security advisor “should not call himself an ‘ambassador’ since he was never confirmed by the Senate,” and that he “gave him a break” by cherry-picking him for a position that did not require Senate confirmation. Trump fired Bolton in September 2019, after getting fed up with his hawkish views.

Describing Bolton’s penning a book about his brief stint at the White House as “totally inappropriate,” Trump argued that if his former employee related their conversations in his tell-all memoir, he might face “criminal liability.”

I can’t imagine that he can [write a book], because that’s highly classified information. Even conversations with me – they are highly classified. I told that to the Attorney General before. I would consider any conversation with me as president highly classified

“So that would mean if he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he’s broken the law and I would think he would have criminal problems,” Trump added.

The US president said that the book – which promises to spill the beans on Ukrainegate that got Trump impeached last year and other policy “transgressions” – might include made-up facts, saying that Bolton “has been known not to tell the truth a lot.”

Barr confirmed that Bolton did not complete the clearance process in which the government reviews the book before publication to make sure it does not violate non-disclosure agreements.

Also on rt.com ‘We would be in World War Six by now’ if Bolton were still in the WH, says Trump in scathing tweets

With the Trump administration preparing for a legal war with Bolton, his lawyer Chuck Cooper has accused the White House of trying to silence his client using the pretext of US national security. Cooper claimed that the National Security Council employees had reviewed the book for months before indicating that it was good to go in late April, but then the White House intervened, and Trump’s deputy counsel for national security John A. Eisenberg told them on June 8 that the book contained classified information. 

Bolton, who served as a US ambassador to the UN under George W. Bush, and has been known as an outspoken war hawk in the Trump administration, has turned into a liberal media darling after he left the White House. His refusal to testify at the impeachment hearings, however, drew ire from Trump detractors. Back then Bolton claimed that his testimony “would not have changed anything,” which has prompted some to question if he wanted to leave juicy bits to the book and cash in rather than share potential bombshells for free during the trial.

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