Jan 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Former top Trump aide John Kelly: "I believe John Bolton"

Kelly in the Oval Office in 2018

Kelly in the Oval Office in 2018. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is backing claims made by John Bolton in a new book about President Trump, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Why it matters: Bolton alleges in his upcoming book that Trump told him he needed to freeze military aid to Ukraine until the country opened an investigation into Democrats, including the Bidens, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

What he's saying: "If John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton," Kelly said Monday to an audience in Sarasota, Florida.

  • "Every single time I was with him ... he always gave the president the unvarnished truth," Kelly said of Bolton, according to the Herald-Tribune.

The big picture: Admitting additional witnesses — specifically Bolton — has become a focus for House impeachment managers in Trump's ongoing trial in the Senate.

  • A few GOP senators signaled that they may support additional witnesses Monday following the revelations about Bolton's book. The president's defense, however, shied away from the reports.
  • Republican sources told Axios on Monday that Republicans feel "there is a sense in the Senate that if one witness is allowed, the floodgates are open."

Go deeper ... Live impeachment updates: Trump's team set to close out its case

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