The former national security advisor’s book, set to be released Tuesday but leaked to the press ahead of time, has made headlines around the world over its claims about the Trump White House’s approach to foreign policy. Administration officials have simultaneously denied the book’s claims, and tried to ban its release on national security grounds.
President Donald Trump has added another epithet to his growing catalogue of insults against former national security advisor John Bolton, calling him a “grossly incompetent” “liar” and “wacko” in a tweet, and suggesting that he’d only hired him because he enjoys “hearing differing points of view.”
I gave John Bolton, who was incapable of being Senate confirmed because he was considered a wacko, and was not liked, a chance. I always like hearing differing points of view. He turned out to be grossly incompetent, and a liar. See judge’s opinion. CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
Trump urged his followers to read Judge Royce Lamberth’s legal opinion on releasing the book, reiterating that it contains “CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!!!”
Lamberth, a federal judge from the District of Columbia’s District Court, denied a Trump administration request to block Bolton’s book from publication, but opened the door for the federal government to sue the former national security advisor for any profit the book makes.
“Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States. He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability. But these facts do not control the motion before the Court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm. Its motion is accordingly DENIED,” Lamberth wrote in his decision on Saturday.
Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security advisor between April 2018 and September 2019, has been busy promoting his new book, ‘The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir’, in which he accuses the president of a litany of ills, including possible obstruction of justice, political weakness before foreign leaders, and general incompetence.
Trump administration officials have come to the president’s defence, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying he was “in the room too” and that his book was riddled with “a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehood.” Foreign governments including the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov similarly denied claims made by Bolton in relation to Trump and their countries.
On Monday, Bolton, who was instrumental helping the Bush administration launch its disastrous war in Iraq, and has advocated for the bombing or invasion of multiple countries the US had issues with, upped his criticism of Trump, claiming that working in his White House was “like living inside a pinball machine” and that Trump was “almost proud of not learning much about the subject matter of national security.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized Bolton, who he once dubbed “Mr. Tough Guy,” suggesting the US would be in “World War Six” if he had taken his foreign policy advice. Before settling with “Wacko John Bolton,” Trump has also called his former advisor a “washed-up guy,” a “disgruntled boring fool” and a “sick customer.”
Bolton defended himself Monday, saying he never hid his views and that Trump “knew what he was getting” when he hired him.
Trump claimed to have fired Bolton in September 2019 over disagreements on a range of foreign policy matters. Bolton said he resigned voluntarily for the same reason.