Updated Jan 28, 2020

Bolton's former chief of staff urges him to withdraw Trump admin book

Former national security adviser John Bolton at the White House in 2018. Photo: Mike Theiler/Pool/Getty Images

Former national security adviser John Bolton received scathing criticism for writing a "tell-all" book on his time in the Trump administration by Fred Fleitz, former NSA chief of staff in a Fox News op-ed Monday.

What he's saying: "Given the importance of protecting a president's confidential discussions with his senior advisers, I strongly disagree with Bolton's decision to release the book before the November presidential election and call on him to withdraw it from the publisher immediately," said Fleitz, who also served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president.

"Presidents must be able to candidly consult with their advisers without worrying they will leak these discussions to the press or obtain high-dollar book contracts to publish them. A book by a former national security adviser ahead of a president's reelection bid may set a dangerous precedent since it could discourage future presidents from seeking advice from expert advisers on sensitive national security matters."
— Fleitz op-ed excerpt

Driving the news: Bolton's book, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," which is slated for release on March 17, reportedly contains explosive claims on President Trump, including an allegation tying the holdup of aid to Ukraine to demands for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Bolton indicates more Ukraine details if book prevails over WH "censorship"

Former national security adviser John Bolton on stage at Duke University on Monday. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Former national security adviser John Bolton said during a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, he hopes his new book is "not suppressed" by the White House, according to journalists present in the room.

This is an effort to write history and I did it the best I can. We'll have to see what comes out of the censorship."
— JohnBolton's comments, per Bloomberg and the New York Times

Republicans fear "floodgates" if Bolton testifies

Photo: Yuri Oreshkin/TASS via Getty Images

There may be enough new pressure on Senate Republicans to allow witnesses at President Trump's impeachment trial, after the leak from a forthcoming book by former national security adviser John Bolton that contradicts what the White House has been telling the country.

Why it matters: This is a dramatic, 11th-hour inflection point for the trial, with an eyewitness rebuttal to Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to investigations into Joe Biden.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020

Trump denies Bolton book allegations that Ukraine aid was tied to Bidens

President Trump speaks during a meeting as then-national security adviser John Bolton listens. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump strongly denied early Monday allegations his former national security adviser John Bolton reportedly made in an upcoming book that the holdup of aid to Ukraine was tied to demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

What he's saying: "I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book," Trump said on Twitter.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020