The DOJ is accusing Bolton, via his book, of grossly mischaracterizing a discussion he had with AG Barr, suggesting it’s not even remotely correct:
NY POST – The Justice Department is denying a New York Times report based on John Bolton’s new book — specifically on a meeting the former national security adviser had with Attorney General William Barr about President Trump’s relationship with world leaders.
According to the Times’ reporting on the manuscript, Bolton raised concerns in a meeting with Barr that Trump was “effectively granting personal favors to the autocratic leaders of Turkey and China.”
Barr allegedly responded by voicing his own fears regarding Trump possibly creating the appearance that he had undue influence over active DOJ investigations of companies in the two countries.
In a statement, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec accused Bolton of “grossly” mischaracterizing the exchange.
“While the Department of Justice has not reviewed Mr. Bolton’s manuscript, the New York Times’ account of this conversation grossly mischaracterizes what Attorney General Barr and Mr. Bolton discussed,” Kupec said.
“There was no discussion of ‘personal favors’ or ‘undue influence’ on investigations, nor did Attorney General Barr say that the President’s conversations with foreign leaders was improper.
“If this is truly what Mr. Bolton has written, then it seems he is attributing to Attorney General Barr his own current views — views with which Attorney General Barr does not agree.”
I like that the DOJ is leaving room for the reporting to be wrong, as they say “if this is truly what Mr. Bolton has written”. It would shock none of us that these leaks are inaccurate.
But on the flip side, I don’t know of any reports from Bolton’s people that these leaks are inaccurate. I know his publisher wants to sell his book, but you’d think they’d at least dispute ‘gross’ mischaracterizations.
So I don’t know. I do hope, sincerely, that this isn’t Bolton doing a 180 on Trump just like Scaramucci and others.