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President Trump told reporters Monday that his former national security adviser John Bolton will have a "very strong criminal problem" if he proceeds with publishing his tell-all book on June 23, calling it "highly inappropriate" and claiming: “I will consider every conversation with me as president to be highly classified."

Why it matters: The memoir by Bolton, a prolific note taker, is expected to shed light on alleged misconduct by Trump related to his dealings with foreign countries. ABC News reported Monday that the administration is planning to file a lawsuit this week seeking an injunction in federal court to block the book from publishing.

  • "If he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he's broken the law and I would think you would have criminal problems. I hope so," Trump said.
  • "If this guy is writing things about conversations or about anything — and maybe he is not telling the truth. He's been known not to tell the truth, a lot."

The big picture: Attorney General Bill Barr claimed that Bolton did not complete the process of pre-publication review with the White House to ensure classified information is not published.

  • But Bolton's lawyer contests that, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week that Bolton underwent a four-month review process and that the White House attempted to block publication at the last minute by claiming the book still contained classified information.
  • This came after "weeks of silence" from the White House, Bolton's lawyer claimed, accusing the administration of a "transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton."

Between the lines: National security lawyer Mark Zaid notes that a court-ordered injunction, even if successful, is unlikely to stop sensitive information from Bolton's book from being released, since a number of major media outlets are likely to have to have review copies.

  • However, that does not rule out the possibility that Bolton will face serious criminal or civil liability at some point in the future.
  • Bolton has been criticized for declining to testify during Trump's impeachment, despite claiming to have firsthand knowledge of the president's involvement in a campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

Go deeper: Bolton book to argue Trump committed misconduct

Go deeper

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said last week that he cannot support President Trump's re-election.

Why it matters: Hogan, a moderate governor in a blue state, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.