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U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo calls Bolton 'a traitor' over new book

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday branded as "a traitor" former White House national security adviser John Bolton, who has accused President Donald Trump in a book of sweeping misdeeds and said he is not fit for office.

Former adviser in memoir accuses Trump of misdeeds, says president unfit for office

John Bolton, left, is seen with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, centre, and President Donald Trump in the White House in February 2019. (Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday branded as "a traitor" former White House national security adviser John Bolton, who has accused President Donald Trump in a book of sweeping misdeeds and said he is not fit for office.

"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," Pompeo, the latest in a series of Trump allies to condemn Bolton, said in a statement.

The 577-page book titled The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir paints an unvarnished portrait of Trump and his administration, and the sometimes dim view that Trump's advisers have of him.

In one excerpt, Bolton says he received a note from Pompeo mocking Trump during a 2018 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"He is so full of sh-t," Pompeo's note said, according to a Washington Post report.

A reporter holds a copy of John Bolton's new book The Room Where It Happened as White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany answers questions from the media at the White House on Thursday. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

Bolton also wrote that Trump "pleaded" with China's President Xi Jinping during a 2019 summit to help his re-election prospects and that political calculations drove Trump's foreign policy.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in Senate testimony that Bolton's account was "absolutely untrue."

"I was at the meeting. Would I recollect something as crazy as that? Of course I would," Lighthizer said. "This never happened in it for sure. Completely crazy."

Trump on Thursday called the book a "compilation of lies and made up stories" intended to make him look bad. He tweeted that Bolton was just trying to get even for being fired "like the sick puppy he is!"

Court battle

The U.S. government has asked a federal court for a temporary restraining order to prevent the release of Bolton's book, claiming it contains classified material.

But the book, to be released Tuesday, is already sitting in warehouses and media outlets have obtained advance copies and published stories on it.

The two sides are set to face off Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

WATCH | Bolton's book claims Trump uninformed, White House in chaos:

Bolton’s book claims Trump uninformed, White House in chaos

News

5 months agoVideo
2:00
According to several U.S. media reports, John Bolton's new book alleges that U.S. President Donald Trump is uninformed and all his decisions were made with the 2020 presidential election in mind. 2:00

The government says Bolton violated a non-disclosure agreement in which he promised to submit any book he might write to the administration for a prepublication review to ensure government secrets aren't disclosed.

After working for months with the White House to edit, rewrite or remove sensitive information, Bolton's lawyer says his client received a verbal clearance from classification expert Ellen Knight at the National Security Council.

But he never got a formal clearance letter, and the Trump administration contends that the book still contains sensitive material.

With files from The Associated Press

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