alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Trump's own former chief of staff breaks with the president — says he believes Bolton

Trump's own former chief of staff breaks with the president — says he believes Bolton
White House Chief of Staff General john Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, joined by their wives Karen Kelly and Ellyn Dunford, visiting the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial Saturday. Nov 10, 2018, in. Belleau, France. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

As Democrats push to have former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify for President Donald Trump's Senate trial — testimony that is expected to be devastating for the president's case based on reports about a memoir manuscript he wrote — an old ally of the commander in chief is breaking with the White House's line.

While Trump has denied Bolton's reported claims that the president engaged in a direct aid-for-investigations quid pro quo with Ukraine, former White House Chief of Staff John Bolton said publicly Monday evening that he believes Bolton.

“If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton,” Kelly said.

He made the remarks at the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall in Sarasota, Florida, as the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.

It continued:

Asked about the passages in Bolton’s book — which has yet to be released — that appear to reinforce the impeachment allegations, Kelly said Monday evening that “John’s an honest guy. He’s a man of integrity and great character, so we’ll see what happens.” Kelly ended his answer by saying he believes Bolton.

There are growing calls for Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial, something GOP leaders have resisted. Kelly said he supports calling witnesses during the trial.

“I mean half of Americans think this process is purely political and shouldn’t be happening but since it is happening the majority of Americans would like to hear the whole story,” Kelly said.

“So I think if there are people that could contribute to this, either innocence or guilt ... I think they should be heard,” Kelly said, adding: “I think some of the conversations seem to me to be very inappropriate but I wasn’t there. But... there are people that were there that ought to be heard from.”

Bolton hasn't directly confirmed the contents of his book, but in raising concerns about how it was publicized, his representatives haven't challenged the accuracy of the reports.

Trump has flatly denied Bolton's reported claims:

But, in this very series of tweets, Trump also blatantly lied. He said he "released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations - and far ahead of schedule." This is totally false. The aid was substantially delayed, in violation of the law according to the Government Accountability Office, and a significant portion of it wasn't even released by the legally required deadline.

So even putting aside Trump's history of unprecedented lying, the president's own denial of Bolton's claims is on its face completely lacking in credibility.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.