Former national security adviser John Bolton’s book manuscript leaked after the White House made copies of a single manuscript he submitted for security review, Bolton’s legal team told NBC News.
Bolton’s leaked book manuscript revealed that President Trump told him that he wanted to freeze $391 million in aid to Ukraine until the country agreed to help with investigations into the Bidens. Bolton also wrote that he expressed concern to Attorney General Bill Barr that Trump was granting personal favors to autocrats, which Barr apparently agreed with, according to The New York Times.
Bolton’s publisher and literary agent denied that Bolton shared the manuscript with The Times.
“There was absolutely no coordination with The New York Times or anyone else regarding the appearance of information about his book, ‘The Room Where It Happened,’ at online booksellers,” the statement said. “Any assertion to the contrary is unfounded speculation.”
“The Times does not discuss its sources, but I should point out that no one has questioned the accuracy of our report,” added New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet.
Bolton’s lawyer suggests WH “corrupted” process:
Bolton attorney Chuck Cooper told Axios in a statement that he submitted the manuscript to the National Security Council for “standard prepublication security review for classified information.”
Cooper said the manuscript “contained no information that could reasonably be considered classified.”
“It is clear, regrettably, from The New York Times article published today that the prepublication review process has been corrupted and that information has been disclosed by persons other than those properly involved in reviewing the manuscript.”
WH made copies:
Bolton’s legal team told NBC News that they provided a single copy of the manuscript for a security review but the White House apparently made copies.
“So it suggests that there are multiple copies floating around, and from the Bolton team’s perspective, they’re saying we gave them one copy — what they did with it, we don’t know, but clearly it’s gotten out there and it’s not coming from us,” NBC’s Carol Lee reported. “They really want to distance themselves from the idea that he is somehow behind leaking this.”