US President Donald Trump said on Monday during an interaction with reporters that his former national security adviser John Bolton will have broken the law and face criminal liability if a book he has written about his time in the White House is published. Trump told reporters that he has classified information in the book and that he had not completed a clearing process required for any book written by former government officials who had access to sensitive information.
“I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified. So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he’s broken the law,” Trump said.
“That’s called criminal liability. That’s a big thing,” Trump added.
His statement comes amid an escalating standoff between the White House and the longtime conservatibe foreign policy hand, who alleges in his memoir that the president committed “Ukraine-like transgressions’ ‘ in a number of foreign policy decisions.
Bolton’s “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” is set to be published on June 23. The book has already been shipped to distribution centers across the country. However, Bolton’s attorney, Charles Cooper, has said that the memoir does not contain any classified material.
Trump said it was “highly inappropriate” for his former national security adviser to write the book. Attorney General William P. Barr joined Trump saying “I don’t know of any book that has been published so quickly while the officeholders are still in government, and it’s about very current events, current leaders and current policy issues, many of which are currently classified.”