US President Donald Trump said on Monday that his former National Security Advisor John Bolton had broken the law and would face criminal liability if a book written about his time in the White House was published.
Trump told reporters that Bolton is aware that he classified the information in his book, and that he did not complete the necessary clearing process for any books written by former government officials whose sensitive information was available.
Trump said, “I will consider every conversation with the president. So that would mean that if he wrote the book and if the book went out, he broke the law.”
Trump said, “It’s called criminal liability. It’s a big deal.”
Speaking on the same incident, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department is attempting to complete Bolton’s approval process and “necessarily delete classified information.”
Trump fired Bolton in September after 519 days amid differences over a wide array of foreign policy issues.
Bolton’s “The Room When It Happened: A White House Memoir,” scheduled to be published on June 23.
The publisher, Simon & Schuster, said in a news release on Friday, the book provides an insider account of Trump’s “inconsistent, ugly decision-making process”.
The book details Trump’s dealings with China, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Iran, Britain, France and Germany, the publisher said. “This is the book Donald Trump doesn’t want you to read,” Simon and Schuster said.
Ben Wiser, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, said attempts to block the book’s publication failed.
“As always, government threats have nothing to do with securing national security and doing everything to avoid scandal and embarrassment,” said Winger.
Trump said that the problem of publishing classified information, including a conversation with the president, “gets worse if she lies about the conversation, which I understand could happen in some cases.” He said that he had not read the book.
“Then we’ll see what happens. They’re in court, or they’ll be in court soon,” Trump said.
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