U.S. President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton said on Monday that he is fighting “censorship” of his new book at the hands of the White House.
Bolton also suggested that his work contained more revelations than those found in a draft leaked to the press earlier this year, suggesting the Ukraine leaks are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the information the book contains.
Speaking at Duke University during his first public appearance since the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment trial, Bolton reportedly accused the White House of trying to prevent him from publishing essential parts of his new memoir by deeming them classified.
Bolton said he was fighting back, but claimed that the White House’s standard review process for books written by current and former administration officials could prevent the book from being published next month.
The New York Times quotes the former Trump administration official as proclaiming on Monday:
For all the focus on Ukraine and the impeachment trial and all that, to me, there are portions of the manuscript that deal with Ukraine, I view that like the sprinkles on the ice cream sundae in terms of what’s in the book. This is an effort to write history and I did it the best I can. We’ll have to see what comes out of the censorship.
“I’m hoping ultimately I can get the book published,” Bolton reportedly added. “I hope it’s not suppressed.”
Referring to Trump, he said, “He tweets, but I can’t talk about it. How fair is that?”
Citing an unpublished manuscript of the book, the Times reported in late January that Bolton claimed Trump admitted to withholding aid to Ukraine in a bid to pressure the Eastern European country to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Bolton’s lawyers have denied that the book contains classified information, adding that it should be published as scheduled on March 17.
The unpublished manuscripts alleged revelations about Ukraine were at the center of the Democrats’ impeachment efforts against Trump, contradicting the president’s defense that the freezing of aid had nothing to do with his request for investigations.
On Monday, the Times noted:
Mr. Bolton refused to go into the details of the Ukraine matter that led to Mr. Trump’s impeachment [at Duke University], and he did not offer an opinion about the outcome of the trial that acquitted the president. At various points, he instead offered coy answers, suggesting it would all come out in his book if he is allowed to publish it.
Can’t underscore enough @AmbJohnBolton’s frustration at @WhiteHouse review of his manuscript. Asked simple question if he agrees @realDonaldTrump call w/ #Ukraine Pres Zelensky was “perfect,” his answer: “You’ll love Chapter 14.” @ABC @ABC11_WTVD @ABCPolitics @johnyangtv
— Jonah Kaplan (@KaplanABC11) February 17, 2020
Bolton’s critics took to social media to call for a boycott of his new book.
“The hashtag #BoycottBoltonsBook trended on Twitter as critics, including Andy Lassner, the executive producer of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ accused Bolton of putting ‘money before country’ for not speaking out in public earlier,” the Huffington Post noted.