Meghan McCain wasn’t afraid to go after John Bolton when discussing his new book. During his appearance on The View on Wednesday, McCain told Bolton that his decision to name his book about his time in the Trump White House The Room Where it Happened was “insulting,” according to reporting in Hollywood Life. The title is a reference to an almost identically named song in the Broadway musical Hamilton, which is about Alexander Hamilton’s efforts to help found the United States.
“Do you understand that it’s insulting to those of us that are fans of Hamilton to co-opt art from Lin-Manuel Miranda for your own political purposes?” she asked the former national security advisor.
Bolton responded to the question by saying that, while he was a fan of Hamilton, his book’s title wasn’t actually a reference to the song. He said that “the room” is a term that’s often used in politics.
“It’s a fair use, and I think it summarizes what we were trying to do,” he explained.
.@sunny Hostin to former national security adviser John Bolton: “So it is your understanding then that President Trump wanted information on the Bidens and on the Clintons in return for unfreezing the aid [to Ukraine]?”
— The View (@TheView) June 24, 2020
McCain responded by saying that Hamilton fans were still upset that the song and book have almost identical titles. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda also wasn’t thrilled by Bolton’s choice of titles. He took to Twitter to respond to the book’s release, modifying the lyrics of another song in the show. In the tweet, he accused Bolton of borrowing his song’s title in order to “write a cash-in” book instead of testifying before Congress.
Miranda’s criticism has been echoed by other political voices in recent days. It also came up during Bolton’s interview on The View. McCain’s co-host Sonny Hostin asked the former member of the Trump administration why he had chosen not to disclose the information he reveals in the book during President Trump’s impeachment trial earlier this year.
“You are one of the reasons, if not the very reason, that Trump is still in office and wasn’t impeached. Help me understand why your silence is not complicity in this,” she asked.
During the interview, Bolton also clarified that he had gone through an arduous process before his book was published to ensure that none of the information in it was classified. He said that he expected criticism to come from the president following publication, but he was only interested in telling the truth about his time in the administration.
He also corroborated one of the stories at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, saying that it was his understanding that Trump was hoping to trade military aid to Ukraine for help in finding information on political opponents like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.