President Trump on Monday attacked ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book, arguing that any conversation with him as president is “highly classified.”
Trump also suggested that criminal charges should be pursued against anyone who writes a book based on those supposedly “classified” chats.
Trump said he disapproved of the release of ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton's upcoming book: "I will consider every conversation with me highly classified. If he wrote a book and the book gets out, he's broken the law and I would think you would have criminal problems." pic.twitter.com/IWVIQWSSq6
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) June 15, 2020
“I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified,” Trump told reporters Monday when asked about the upcoming tell-all account of the former official’s tenure at the White House. “So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out he’s broken the law. I would think he would have criminal problems.”
Bolton’s book is expected to reveal alleged “Ukraine-like transgressions,” publisher Simon & Schuster wrote in a statement on Friday. Bolton is said to have written a detailed personal account of these and other revelations that unfolded in the Trump White House and far exceed the original claims made against the president during House impeachment inquiries last fall.
Although the book was already delayed from an original publication date set for March due to a standard security review for classified information ahead of publication by the National Security Council, Attorney General Bill Bar claims that process was never completed.
“I don’t know if any book that has been published so quickly while the officeholders are still in government and it’s about very current events, current leaders, current discussions, current policy issues. Many of which are inherently classified,” Barr said Monday at the event with Trump.
Barr dodged questions about an impending lawsuit to stop the book, titled “The Room Where It Happened,” from hitting shelves in its current iteration, which ABC News reported on Monday.
The network also announced that Bolton had taped a primetime sit-down interview with Martha Raddatz scheduled to air on Sunday night.