Pompeo: Bolton left out of meetings ‘because he was leaking or he would twist things or he’d lie’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back on claims in former national security adviser John Bolton’s memoir late Monday, telling Fox News’s Sean Hannity that Bolton was frozen out of meetings over suspicions he would either leak or lie about the topics discussed.

“I haven’t read the book in its entirety, but the excerpts I’ve seen, there’s lots of falsehoods, there’s lot of lies contained there,” Pompeo told Hannity, saying he took issue with even the title, “The Room Where It Happened.”

“The president and others, myself included, had to cut him out of meetings because he was leaking or he would twist things or he’d lie,” Pompeo said. “It was a really difficult situation where John Bolton thought he was more important than the president of the United States and the American people.”

Pompeo also pushed back on Bolton’s general critiques of President Trump’s foreign policy, saying: “This president’s foreign policy is something that John Bolton should have been proud of, and instead, he stepped away in a way that fundamentally misrepresents what we’ve done.” Pompeo went on to compare Bolton to Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor turned whistleblower who leaked classified information on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

“The information he has released puts criminal liability squarely on him. We all saw what’s happened when people leak classified information like Edward Snowden. What John Bolton did here is not dissimilar from that,” Pompeo said.  “And while we’ll leave open for the Justice Department to take its action, this kind of information getting out, it presents real risk and real harm to the United States of America.”

The White House has claimed Bolton’s memoir contains classified information and the Justice Department has sued to block its release, set for Tuesday. A federal judge ruled last week that the publication could proceed.

Tags Bolton book Donald Trump John Bolton Mike Pompeo Sean Hannity The Room Where It Happened

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