Jun 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pompeo calls Bolton "a traitor" over upcoming tell-all book

Pompeo and Bolton in a room

John Bolton (L), acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (C), and Mike Pompeo listen to President Trump in the White House in July 2019. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused former national security adviser John Bolton late on Thursday of "spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods" in his upcoming tell-all book.

Why it matters: The book "recounts Pompeo breaking with the president across a broad spectrum of his foreign policy issues, from his near-war footing with Iran, transactional dealings with China, diplomatic flirtations with North Korea and freewheeling discussions with allies," according to the Washington Post, which obtained an advanced copy.

  • Bolton claims that Pompeo slipped him a note during Trump’s 2018 meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un that commented on Trump, saying: “he is so full of shit,” in an advanced copy of the book obtained by the Times. Pompeo reportedly dismissed Trump's North Korea diplomacy as having "zero probability of success.”

What he's saying:

"I've not read the book, but from the excerpts I've seen published, John Bolton is spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods. It is both sad and dangerous that John Bolton's final public role is that of a traitor who damaged America by violating his sacred trust with its people. To our friends around the world: you know that President Trump's America is a force for good in the world."
— Pompeo wrote in a statement on Thursday

Go deeper: Highlights from the excerpts of John Bolton's book

Go deeper