Trump administration faces fresh scrutiny with release of Bolton’s tell-all book

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton's tell-all memoir is set for release June 23, 2020.
Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton's tell-all memoir is set for release June 23, 2020. © REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

President Donald Trump is facing another round of revelations with the publication of a tell-all book by former national security advisor John Bolton on Tuesday after Trump's efforts to block the book release failed in a US court.


Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened”, is an account of his 17 months serving as national security advisor that paints the US president as not "fit for office". 

Reporting from Washington, DC, FRANCE 24’s Kethevane Gorjestani said the book release places Trump’s way of governing under intense scrutiny. “John Bolton is really painting a very bleak and not positive picture of the US president. He paints the president as someone who is uninformed and ignorant; he doesn’t know whether Finland is part of Russia or not,” said Gorjestani. 

“He also shows a side of Donald Trump that was in question during the impeachment process that basically shows the US president, according to John Bolton, as having only one thing in mind – that he wanted to be re-elected.”


The withering portrayal also accuses Trump of explicitly seeking Chinese President Xi Jinping's help to win re-election.

The book release follows an unsuccessful attempt by the Trump administration to block publication when US District Judge Royce Lamberth last week ruled in Bolton’s favour citing his core First Amendment right to free speech. But the judge also ruled that Bolton had “gambled with the national security of the United States” by opting out of a prepublication review process meant to prevent government officials from spilling classified secrets in memoirs they publish.


Pompeo compares Bolton to Snowden

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday compared Bolton's revelations to Edward Snowden's disclosure of state-backed mass surveillance of US citizens.

Snowden is a former US intelligence contractor who revealed in 2013 that the US National Security Agency was carrying out widespread surveillance on US citizens.

"Frankly, the information he has released puts criminal liability squarely on him," the top US diplomat told Fox News.

"We all saw what's happened when people leak classified information like Edward Snowden. What John Bolton did here is not dissimilar to that," Pompeo said.

Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since his revelations. He has been charged in the US with espionage and theft of state secrets and faces up to 30 years in prison.

"This kind of information getting out, it presents real risk and real harm to the United States of America," Pompeo added.

Over the past few days, Trump and his team, including Pompeo, have vacillated between two courses of action: denouncing the book as "fiction," but also claiming it is full of highly sensitive, classified information.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)


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