President Trump has told members of his staff that he wants John Bolton’s upcoming book ‘The Room Where It Happened’ withheld from publication until after he leaves the White House, The Washington Post has reported, citing two sources said to be familiar with the issue.
Bolton, who received a $2 million book deal with Simon and Schuster just weeks after being dismissed, plans to release his 528-page tell-all book on March 17.
According to WaPo’s sources, Trump has been obsessed with the book, asking for updates on its status and calling Bolton a “traitor” for his leaking activities.
Bolton leaked excerpts from his book during the Democrats’ failed attempt to remove the president from office, endorsing the central allegation made by Democratic lawmakers accusing Trump of withhold military aid to Ukraine in a bid to pressure Kiev into restarting a corruption investigation into the Biden family over its alleged shady dealings in the Eastern European country.
Trump vigorously denied Bolton’s claims, saying he “never told” the national security advisor anything of the kind, and claiming Bolton was just trying “to sell a book.” Accusing Bolton of “begging” him for a job after his election, Trump suggested that if he had listened to Bolton’s hawkish foreign policy advise, “we would be in World War Six by now.”
Last month, Trump’s National Security Council said Bolton’s book may contain “significant amounts of classified information,” with Bolton reportedly now fearing that his book may be held back from publication in court over the classified information allegedly contained therein.
Senior Democrats have blasted the administration's efforts to ‘classify’ Bolton’s book, and urged the former advisor to testify at the House hearings on impeachment, and then the impeachment trial in the Senate. Bolton said he would be willing to do the latter, but never got the chance as the Senate called no new witnesses, and the impeachment trial collapsed.
Bolton, one of the architects of the Bush administration's Iraq invasion in 2003, has been characterized as a hardliner hawk who "has never seen a war he doesn't like." During his time as Trump's national security advisor, he called on Washington to deepen its involvement in efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government, worked to escalate tensions with Iran, and famously called on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear programme along the lines of the 'Libya model' (Libya agreed to give up its nuclear ambitions in 2004, only to have its government overthrown by NATO-backed airstrikes in 2011).