The White House has informed former national security adviser John Bolton that his memoir still contains classified material.
White House deputy counsel John Eisenberg wrote a stern warning to Charles Cooper, Bolton’s attorney, that the content of the upcoming book, The Room Where It Happened, could represent a threat to national security:
As we advised your client when he signed the nondisclosure agreements, and as he should be well aware as a former assistant to the president for national security affairs in this administration, the unauthorized disclosure of classified information could be exploited by a foreign power, thereby causing significant harm to the national security of the United States.
The book has already faced delays as part of a White House National Security Council review. In January, the council told Bolton that his manuscript contained “significant amounts of classification.” Bolton claimed he changed the book in response to their concerns.
In an op-ed published to the Wall Street Journal, Cooper framed the additional delay as a “transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton, in violation of his constitutional right to speak on matters of the utmost public import,” claiming, “President Trump doesn’t want John Bolton to publish his book.”
The president has been vocal in his criticism of both Bolton and the book, calling it a “nasty and untrue” account. Trump asserted that, had he listened to Bolton when he was still part of the administration, “we would be in World War Six by now.”
Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, expressed their solidarity, saying, “The final, published version of this book reflects those changes, and Simon & Schuster is fully supportive of Ambassador Bolton’s First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the Trump White House.”