John Kelly: 'I believe John Bolton'

At an event in Sarasota, Fla., on Monday, former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE said he believes the accounts detailed in former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence Senate-passed defense spending bill includes clause giving DHS cyber agency subpoena power Bolton defends Cheney amid clash with House conservatives MORE’s memoir. 

“If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton,” Kelly said at the event, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “Every single time I was with him ... he always gave the president the unvarnished truth” he said. 

“So, I think if there are people that could contribute to this, either innocence or guilt ... I think they should be heard,” Kelly said at the Florida event. “I think some of the conversations seem to me to be very inappropriate, but I wasn’t there. But there are people that were there that ought to be heard from” the former military general continued. 


Kelly's comments come after The New York Times obtained a manuscript of Bolton's unpublished memoir Sunday. In the manuscript the former national security adviser reportedly claims President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE personally told him he wanted to withhold about $400 million in military aid to Ukraine until it investigated the president's political rivals, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Don't let Trump distract us from the real threat of his presidency Abrams: Trump 'doing his best to undermine our confidence' in voting system MORE and his son, Hunter Biden.

Trump's dealings with Ukraine are at the center of his current impeachment trial in the Senate.

The new revelation from Bolton raises questions about whether new witnesses will be called to give testimony in the coming proceedings. 

Since the Times reported the contents of the manuscript, more pressure has been on key moderate Republicans to vote for witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial. 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyStimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility CNN chyron says 'nah' to Trump claim about Russia Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock MORE (R-Utah) told reporters on Monday that it’s “increasingly likely” the Senate will vote to bring in witnesses. However, Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMeadows: Election will be held on November third White House not optimistic on near-term stimulus deal Sunday shows - Stimulus debate dominates MORE (R-N.C.), a close ally of the president, said members who vote for witnesses could "face political repercussions," while other GOP senators have said it’s appropriate for members to get a copy of the manuscript


Kelly was White House chief of staff until January 2019, and was later replaced by former Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds MORE, who is on the list of people Democrats would like to see testify before the Senate. 

Trump was impeached on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Senate trial is in its seventh day of proceedings. Tuesday is the last day that Trump's defense team has to present their opening arguments.