Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell sparred with CNN anchor Erin Burnett over whether former National Security Advisor John Bolton fabricated some of the contents of his upcoming book.
Grenell, who served as Bolton’s spokesman during his year as acting ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on CNN’s “Out Front with Erin Burnett” on Friday to discuss the claims in the former national security advisor’s book, “The Room Where It Happens,” which is reportedly filled with criticisms of President Donald Trump’s decisions and overall fitness for office.
Grenell began by wondering why none of the claims in the book never leaked before now.
“Why, if everything leaks at the NSC under John Bolton and during his tenure, every conversation, most transcripts, every little thing leaked, why wouldn’t any of these salacious stories leak now?” he asked. “Why are we just hearing about them when they’re packaged for a book deal? And so I think that’s a very serious question.”
After he explained that Bolton was likely “frustrated” that the president didn’t take his advice on issues, Burnett pushed back by asking, “But are you saying he literally just made all this stuff up, that John Bolton at this point in his career decided to just make it up?”
“Well, it looked like that,” Grenell responded. “Yeah, that is what I’m saying because multiple people who were in the room said that’s not true. I think that there’s an incentive to make a whole bunch of stuff up to get a really big book deal. I think the proof is that everything leaked and this didn’t leak, none of this leaked. And I think that he demonstrated that he wanted to push his own agenda and was frustrated that he didn’t have his agenda being acted upon by the president.”
“There are multiple issues that Donald Trump has challenged the Republican foreign policy establishment on, and John Bolton is the epitome of the foreign policy establishment,” Grenell continued.
Burnett, however, pointed to Trump’s criticism of some of the book’s contents as “highly classified” to challenge Grenell’s position.
“So, which is it, Ambassador?” she asked. “He’s saying it’s highly classified or it’s fake. It can’t be both.”
“Of course it can be both,” he replied. “What are you talking about?”
“You’re saying highly classified information that the president is aware of is made up sitting there that Bolton put in the book?” asked Burnett. (RELATED: Former Bolton Chief Of Staff Explains The ‘Turning Point’ That ‘Disproves The Whole Book’)
“I’ll answer the question if you’ll let me,” he responded. “So, here is the point. There can be a nugget of classified information. There can be something in there that shows sources and methods. It can be talking about things that are classified but then completely gone in another direction, completely made up, completely misused. Life is not so simple that it’s either/or. You can tell a story that has a nugget of classified information that is a totally erroneous story that goes off on a tangent and gives a false impression.”