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Pompeo Tears Into Bolton: He 'Thought He Was More Important Than the President'

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says former National Security Advisor John Bolton is a “traitor.”

Those were not the only strong words he had for Bolton. In an interview on Fox News on Monday, Pompeo said Bolton had a haughty view of himself and compared Bolton to Edward Snowden — who leaked classified information about the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations in 2013.

“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 said.

He also claimed that Bolton was “cut out of” meetings because he was “leaking or he’d twist things, or he’d lie.”

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Bolton’s book “The Room Where It Happened” contains alleged information about President Donald Trump’s decision making process and actions that could be damaging to the president. 

But White House officials and allies of the president have blasted Bolton and suggested that his book contains falsehoods and classified information that should not be published. 

In an interview with ABC News, Bolton said Trump’s decisions are driven by his desire to win re-election, as IJR reported.

“There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what’s good for Donald Trump’s re-election,” Bolton said. 

However, Pompeo roundly rejected that notion, “[Trump] didn’t kill Qasem Soleimani to get re-elected. He isn’t pushing back against [the] Chinese Communist Party to get re-elected. He didn’t get out of the Paris Climate Accord to get re-elected. He did this to secure the basic rights and security for every American.”

He added, “This president’s foreign policy is something John Bolton should have been proud of. And instead, he stepped away in a way that fundamentally misrepresents what we’ve done.”

Finally, Pompeo suggested that Bolton’s book puts him at risk for criminal charges. 

“We’ve all saw what’s happened when people leak classified information like Edward Snowden,” Pompeo said.

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He continued, “What John Bolton did here is not dissimilar from that. 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.”

Last week, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to block the publication of Bolton’s book as it claimed the book’s release would “damage the national security of the United States.”

Some have said it is dubious to insist the book contains classified information and noted that a pre-publication review of the book by the White House initially said the book did not contain classified information.

But after an “additional review” officials said the book did in fact contain classified information.

On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth denied the department’s request. Still, Lamberth issued a rebuke to Bolton who he said “has gambled with the national security of the United States.”

Additionally, Lamberth said an injunction to block the book’s publication would not prevent damage to national security, “With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe —many in newsrooms — the damage is done.”

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