Secretary of State Mike Pompeo focused on John Bolton’s credibility in recent interviews and described the former national security adviser as someone who was routinely excluded from White House meetings because he leaked, lied, or stretched the truth about what was being said. argued.
“I have not read the book in its entirety, but the excerpts I have seen, there are many falsehoods, there are many lies contained therein,” Pompeo said in an interview Monday with Sean Hannity of Fox News.
“The president and others, including myself, had to suspend him from meetings because he was leaking or twisting things or lying,” he said. “It was a really difficult situation where John Bolton thought he was more important than the President of the United States and the American people.”
In an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Tuesday, Pompeo pointed to the White House memoir title, “The Room Where It Happened,” and the internal access Bolton claimed to enjoy during his 17 months in administration.
I was also in the room. I was present for those. I remember them very differently. These are things that have been completely spun or are, frankly, just lies that do not reflect what really happened there, ”Pompeo told Hewitt.
“The truth is, he was such a difficult person and leaked so much information, even while in office, that it was often the case that he was not a participant in the meetings because we had all come to see that there was a real risk that this information ends up in places it shouldn’t have, ”said the country’s top diplomat.
In an interview with ABC News, Bolton said the president’s policies jeopardize national security.
“The greatest fear I have is that their policymaking will be so incoherent, so unfocused, so unstructured, so wrapped up in their own personal political fortune, that mistakes will be made that will have grave consequences for the national security of the United States.” said.
But Pompeo defended Trump in the Hannity interview.
“This president’s foreign policy is something that John Bolton should have been proud of, and instead walked away in a way that fundamentally misrepresents what we have done,” he said.
Building on the administration’s claim that Bolton has included classified information in his tome, which was published Tuesday, Pompeo compared it to Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency.
“The information you have disclosed imposes direct criminal liability on you. We all saw what happened when people leaked information classified as Edward Snowden. What John Bolton did here is no different than that, ”he said. “And while we will leave the Department of Justice open to take action, this type of information is disclosed, presents real risk and real harm to the United States of America.”
The White House attempted to block publication of the book on those grounds, but a federal judge ruled against it last week, but noted that Bolton appeared to have failed to complete the government’s review of classified material.