Former national security adviser John Bolton accused US President Donald Trump of “reprehensible conduct” when asked why Democrats have also deemed his decision to write the memoir as “unpatriotic”.
“I’m not saying he should have been impeached”, Bolton said in an interview on Fox News on Tuesday. “I’m saying there’s a lot of reprehensible conduct, not all of which is impeachable. The fact was the Democrats were pursuing a strategy that was clearly going right into a ditch.”
Bolton also denied violating the Presidential Records Act by burning all the notes he collected while serving at the White House.
“No, I don’t think these are records that were supposed to be kept”, Bolton said. “Many other people followed the same pattern.”
Bolton said that he is “blessed with a pretty good memory” that allowed him to write a 500-page book full of details and quotes without the need to rely on presidential records.
He explained that he usually got rid of the notes “during the course of usually the weekend following when they were taken, throughout the thing, put in burn bags, that sort of thing. But no notes were taken with me after I left the White House”.
He went on to criticize Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who, according to Bolton, was only supporting Trump’s views to help his own career, despite the fact that he often did not share the president’s stances on China, Iran, and other issues. “I think his political future is very much tied to the Trump administration”, Bolton said.
The Trump administration sued Bolton to prevent him from publishing his memoir for containing classified information, but a US court allowed the publication of the book. President Trump has repeatedly slammed the book as nothing but “lies and fake stories” made up by an “incompetent” and “disgruntled” fired official.
The memoir, published on Tuesday, contains detailed memories of the high-profile talks Bolton took part in and includes contents of some close-door discussions he witnessed during the 2018-2019 period.
Trump dismissed Bolton in September 2019 over differences on a wide range of issues. He is still considered the most hawkish official to have served in the Trump administration, as he advocated for deeper US involvement in Venezuela’s affairs and strengthening pressure on Iran and North Korea.