President Donald Trump hasn’t been afraid to launch into a tirade against his former national security advisor, John Bolton, after it was revealed that Bolton had major qualms about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine — and that he was planning to spill the beans about it in a forthcoming book.
Bolton’s book, due out this spring, plans to detail how Trump did indeed use the withholding of military aid to Ukraine in order to compel that nation to announce investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The controversy is at the heart-and-center of the first of two charges against Trump in the impeachment saga, that he abused his powers in order to benefit personally and politically.
On Tuesday night, Trump vented his angst toward Bolton on Twitter. “Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this ‘nonsense’ a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated?” Trump asked. “He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!”
Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this “nonsense” a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated. He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020
Trump’s curiosity perhaps highlights the difference between himself and a number of other officials in Washington — not everything has to be dished out on social media. And that’s in fact what happened, according to Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Engel, according to a release he put out on Wednesday that was shared by tweet from Kyle Cheney, Congress reporter at Politico, explained that he and Bolton had spoken with one another to discuss his concerns about Trump, Ukraine, and the firing of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
“President Trump is wrong that John Bolton didn’t say anything about the Trump-Ukraine Scandal at the time the President fired him,” Engel asserted. “He said something to me.”
BREAKING: Rep. ENGEL reveals that BOLTON called him in September and told him to look into the Marie Yovanovitch ouster.
The committees had already started an investigation into Ukraine matters, but Bolton appears to have supported their effort. >>> pic.twitter.com/a54uwGKkaL
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) January 29, 2020
The congressman cited a close, cordial relationship the two have had, despite being ideological opposites. Engel also said he didn’t disclose the conversation until now because it was a private one, but that he did inform colleagues on the Foreign Affairs committee about it.
“He and I spoke by telephone on September 23. On that call, Ambassador Bolton suggested to me — unprompted — that the committee look into the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch,” Engel said. “He strongly implied that something improper had occurredaround her removal as ourtop diplomat in Kyiv.”
Engel added that it was important to hear Bolton speak in the Senate trial. “Ambassador Bolton has made clear over the last few months that he has more to say on this issue,” his statement reads. “And now that the President has called his credibility into question, it’s important to set the record straight.”