He wreaked havoc for Democrats as acting director of national intelligence, and now, Richard Grenell was back owning CNN for their awful take on the upcoming book from former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Bolton’s book, in itself, is not shocking. Former White House officials always pen a book after they leave whatever position they had previously occupied. It’s gained the attention of the anti-Trump media because it contains very serious allegations against the president, especially regarding the Democrats’ impeachment circus (via NYT):
John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, says in his new book that the House in its impeachment inquiry should have investigated President Trump not just for pressuring Ukraine but for a variety of instances when he sought to use trade negotiations and criminal investigations to further his political interests.
Mr. Bolton describes several episodes where the president expressed a willingness to halt criminal investigations “to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,” citing cases involving major firms in China and Turkey. “The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,” Mr. Bolton writes, saying that he reported his concerns to Attorney General William P. Barr.
Mr. Bolton also adds a striking new accusation by describing how Mr. Trump overtly linked tariff talks with China to his own political fortunes by asking President Xi Jinping to buy American agricultural products to help him win farm states in this year’s election. Mr. Trump, he writes, was “pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win.” Mr. Bolton said that Mr. Trump “stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”
The book contains classified information. President Trump tried to block the sale of the work, which is slated to be sold on June 23. The attempt failed, but not before the administration torched Bolton for moving forward with his book without getting approval from the White House. And yes, there is classified information that was disclosed by Bolton in this work that certainly jeopardized national security (via Politico):
???? from Judge Lamberth’s opinion RE: Bolton book:— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) June 20, 2020
"The Court is persuaded that Bolton likely jeopardized national security by disclosing classified information in violation of his nondisclosure agreement obligations... Bolton has gambled with the national security of the US”
A federal judge has denied the Trump administration's request to block the release of John Bolton's memoir, noting that the former national security adviser's book had already been "printed, bound and shipped across the country."
In a Saturday morning ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said the Justice Department’s request to suppress the tell-all book on national security grounds would be impossible to enforce, but the judge lambasted Bolton for his decision to move ahead with publication without an explicit go-ahead from the government.
Which brings us to this thing about classified information. You know things could be classified and totally wrong, right? That’s exactly what former acting DNI Grenell said to Erin Burnett last week. Burnett was a bit puzzled, who said that there was a rule that classified material was all true?
“It can’t be both,” said Burnett smugly in her segment with Grenell.
“Of course, it can be both,” chuckled Grenell, who then ripped CNN for peddling the story that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was gravely ill. The former ambassador to Germany did erroneously credit CNN for saying he was braindead—that was NBC News’ Katy Tur—but the result is the same. That was something that was highly classified, which was leaked to the press, and it turned out to be totally wrong. Burnett knew that immediately and tried to end the segment as quickly as possible after realizing she had been owned for her idiotic take on classified information never being wrong.
Also, I’d say let’s be skeptical of Bolton’s intentions here, given that it appears he may be a bit salty that Trump also passed on executing what he’s always wanted: bombing Iran.