ABC News’ Martha Raddatz sat down with John Bolton, the former UN Ambassador who now serves as Donald Trump’s National Security adviser, to discuss some major issues of the day involving global security and US interaction with foreign countries.
But before getting into any major talks, Raddatz sought to clear up one issue that’s been a focal point for the Trump administration for days now, and that was the revocation of security clearances for former intelligence officials by Trump. Many see the President’s move as a political one, used as vengeance against those who have spoken out against him.
In an effort to sort out the impetus behind Trump’s decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance specifically, the host asked Bolton what the move actually had to do with national security — since Trump cited the issue as his own reason.
Had Brennan used classified intelligence for any purposes other than to advance US interests, the calculus would be simple — it would be a violation of national security principles. But when pressed for examples of Brennan having done anything of that nature, Bolton could ultimately come up with nothing.
BOLTON: Whether he actually used classified information, I think people will be able to determine, but I think that’s a serious problem.
RADDATZ: Are there any specific examples that you think he used classified intelligence?
BOLTON: No, but I think there is a line and somebody can cross it.”
Swing and a miss on that one, John.
RADDATZ: I assume that John Brennan says … that he didn’t use classified information. Would you have been fine if President Obama had revoked your security clearance for criticizing him, which you did frequently?
BOLTON: No, because I didn’t use classified information there, either. I say there’s a line, and I think it’s clear some people can cross it.
RADDATZ: But let me be clear here — you’re not sure whether John Brennan used classified information, you have no specific examples.”
Strike two, Mr. Bolton.
Then Martha listened as John Bolton made a stunning admission: That Brennan couldn’t be in a position to criticize Trump over “so-called collusion” had he not used classified intel. That’s something literally no one has said previously, because it indicates that there actually is classified intel that would make an intelligence official say Trump colluded with the Russians.
The host gave him one more shot:
RADDATZ: So the line to you for people who should have their security clearance revoked is if they use classified information, but you’re not really sure whether he did.
BOLTON: If there’s any kind of misconduct.”
So that’s a big no, then. Bolton strikes out in his support of Trump’s revocation of security clearances, and in doing so, pulls a Rudy Giuliani and accidentally admits that there’s some “there” there in terms of intelligence about Trump’s activities with the Russians.
Some adviser. Watch the clip here:
Featured image via screen capture