Former National Security Adviser John Bolton Plans to Release Tell-All Book — But the White House May Block It


WASHINGTON, DC РAUGUST 20: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House August 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. This is Iohannis’ second visit to the Trump White House and the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral issues during their meeting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is planning to release a book later this month, a reportedly scathing tell-all about his time in President Donald Trump‘s administration — if the White House doesn’t block its release.

The Washington Post reported the story Sunday evening, noting that Bolton’s current plan is to release his book, titled “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” on June 23rd, with a promotional media tour the week before.

Bolton was Trump’s National Security Adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. He previously served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for former President George W. Bush from August 2005 to December 2006.

Bolton’s tenure in the Trump administration had a bumpy exit. In May 2019, the New York Times reported that Trump was overhead by guests at Mar-a-Lago complaining about Bolton’s advice, and the president publicly contradicted his adviser on key issues regarding Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Finally, on September 9, 2019, Bolton offered to resign. The next day, Trump tweeted that he was firing Bolton, which Bolton quickly denied, texting several reporters that he had, in fact, resigned the night before.

In the months since, Trump has periodically mocked Bolton — especially his trademark mustache — and it’s widely assumed that the White House is unhappy about Bolton’s book. Previous news reports have described Trump as referring to Bolton as a “traitor” for writing the book, and attempting to pressure him to wait until after the November election to release it.

High-level government officials often are required to sign nondisclosure agreements, and Bolton is no exception. He has retained a lawyer named Charles Cooper to help guide him through the prepublication process, which included submitting the manuscript to the National Security Council on December 30, to review for any classified material.

Bolton has bristled at the continued delays getting the official approval for the release of his book, reportedly telling people that he believes the book is being held up for political reasons.

If Bolton is determined to release the book without waiting for the administration’s approval, there is little they could do to stop him, but they could cause his security clearance to be revoked or be force him to forgo any profits from the book.

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Sarah Rumpf joined Mediaite in 2020 and is a Contributing Editor focusing on politics, law, and the media. A native Floridian, Sarah attended the University of Florida, graduating with a double major in Political Science and German, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the UF College of Law. Sarah's writing has been featured at National Review, The Daily Beast, Reason, Law & Crime, Independent Journal Review, Texas Monthly, The Capitolist, Breitbart Texas, Townhall, RedState, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Austin-American Statesman, and her political commentary has led to appearances on the BBC, MSNBC, NewsNation, Fox 35 Orlando, Fox 7 Austin, The Young Turks, The Dean Obeidallah Show, and other television, radio, and podcast programs across the globe.