Former Donald Trump administration National Security Advisor John Bolton was at the center of Wednesday’s question session at the senate impeachment trial, as Democratic House managers argued that based on reported allegations on his upcoming book, Bolton must be called as a witness in the trial.
But also on Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to attack the man who served as the top national security official in his cabinet from April 2018, to last September. Trump took special aim at Bolton’s book, to be titled The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, condemning the book in confusing terms.
Immediately after calling Bolton’s book “untrue,” Trump then wrote that the book was “All Classified National Security,” though presumably, classified information would need to be true in order to qualify for classification.
Trump’s statement followed the revelation of a letter from White House national security officials to Bolton’s own lawyer, Charles Cooper, dated January 23. In that letter, as quoted by NBC News, the White House claimed that the book contains “significant amounts of classified information,” including some information that has been classified at the highest “top secret” level.
In the book, Bolton reportedly claims that Trump told him personally that his holdup of a $400 million aid package for Ukraine was directly tied to that country’s willingness to stage an “investigation” of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“The manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed,” White House national security official Ellen Knight wrote, in the letter to Cooper. Knight also claimed that publication of the book would “cause exceptionally grave harm” to the national security of the United States.
But Cooper quickly fired back, sending his own letter to the White House, challenging the Trump administration official to reveal to him exactly which parts of the book contain classified information, according to a report by Axios.
Cooper in his letter says that he and Bolton do not believe that “any of that information could reasonably be considered classified,” in the book. Cooper adds that Bolton is preparing to give testimony in the impeachment trial possibly next week, and as a result, he needs “the results of your review” as soon as the White House can produce it.
In a statement accompanying release of his letter, as posted by Axios, Cooper said that he had received no response from the White House to his request for the White House’s “guidance” with regard to the supposedly “classified” information in the manuscript.