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Pompeo calls Bolton a ‘traitor who damaged America’ over book claims

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo participates in a press conference with U.S. President Donald J. Trump during the NATO Foreign Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium on July 12, 2018. (U.S. State Department)
June 19, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official State Department statement in response to John Bolton’s book “The Room Where it Happened,” which details his time serving as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor.

“I Was In The Room Too” Pompeo’s official response is titled.

“I’ve not read the book, but from the excerpts I’ve seen published, John Bolton is spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods,” Pompeo’s statement reads. “It is both sad and dangerous that John Bolton’s final public role is that of a traitor who damaged America by violating his sacred trust with its people.”

Bolton’s book makes several claims about Trump and members of his administration, accusing him of trading favors with dictators. Bolton’s book also include claims about Pompeo himself. Among those claims, Bolton said during a Trump’s 2018 meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, that Pompeo passed him a note saying of Trump, “He is so full of shit.”

According to Politico reporter Jake Sherman, a person close to Pompeo disputed the note passing claim on Wednesday as excerpts of the book began circulating in the media.

“A person close to @SecPompeo — who insisted on anonymity — denied the note-passing incident: ‘The only person full of shit is John Bolton. The secretary is not a note passer. And if he has such a note, he should put up or shut up,'” Sherman tweeted.

Bolton also claims Trump asked for China’s leader Xi Jinping to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural products as a means of benefiting Trump’s popularity in agricultural states ahead of the 2020 election.

The Trump administration has sought to stop the book’s release, citing a nondisclosure agreement that requires former staffers to submit their manuscripts to the National Security Council for review and approval before publication. The U.S. Department of Justice is also reportedly considering whether to criminally charge Bolton for disclosing classified information in his book.

“Bolton’s book, which is getting terrible reviews, is a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad,” Trump tweeted on Thursday, in response to Bolton’s soon to be release book. “Many of the ridiculous statements he attributes to me were never made, pure fiction. Just trying to get even for firing him like the sick puppy he is!”

In another set of tweets, Trump went on to say Bolton’s comments at one point undermined denuclearization talks North Korea.

“When Wacko John Bolton went on Deface the Nation and so stupidly said that he looked at the ‘Libyan Model’ for North Korea, all hell broke out. Kim Jong Un, who we were getting along with very well, went ‘ballistic,’ just like his missiles — and rightfully so. He didn’t want Bolton anywhere near him,” Trump tweeted. “Bolton’s dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, ‘what the hell were you thinking?’ He had no answer and just apologized. That was early on, I should have fired him right then & there!”

On Friday, Bolton argued in a legal filing that blocking his book would be pointless as 200,000 copies have already shipped, Business Insider reported.