Rudy Giuliani minced no words for former national security adviser John Bolton even though he once considered him a “personal friend.”
President Trump’s personal attorney blasted Bolton as a “swamp creature” and a “classic backstabber” during an interview with “CBS This Morning,” calling him out for alleged claims he had made in an upcoming book and for not verbalizing his purported objections earlier about the administration’s Ukraine policies.
COMING UP: Pres. Trump’s personal attorney @RudyGiuliani called John Bolton a “backstabber” and told @CBS_Herridge he doesn’t think the former national security adviser should testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
More from Giuliani on @CBSThisMorning: pic.twitter.com/osrfOxiRXZ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 29, 2020
“He never said to me ‘I’ve got a problem with what you’re doing in Ukraine,’” Giuliani told CBS reporter Catherine Herridge in a preview clip from a longer interview scheduled to air on Wednesday.
“Never once. Never winked. Never sent me a little note,” the former New York City mayor added. “He is a personal friend, I thought.”
Bolton has increasingly come under fire after a report on his book manuscript by The New York Times which alleged that Trump told Bolton in August 2019 that he would withhold millions in security assistance to Ukraine until its government agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and others.
The president shot back at the allegations, saying he “NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens” and accused Bolton of simply trying “to sell a book.”
Giuliani pointed out that Bolton never made his concerns, if he had any, known before his ouster from the administration.
“So here’s the only conclusion I can come to and it’s a harsh one, and I feel very bad about it,” he told Herridge. “He’s a backstabber.”
“That’s a serious thing to-” Herridge interjected.
“It’s not serious, it’s true,” Giuliani replied.
“If your friend was complaining about you behind your back and didn’t have the guts to come up to your face and tell you, ‘I think you’re screwin’ up Catherine,’ that’d be a backstabber. That’s classic backstabber,” Giuliani explained.
“So I feel I got a swamp character here,” he added.
“I find his testimony about the president pretty close to incredible,” Giuliani said. “I can’t imagine that the president of the United States said that to him.”
The New York Times cited “multiple people” who “described Mr. Bolton’s account of the Ukraine affair,” though it was unclear if the newspaper had actually seen Bolton’s manuscript. The report ignited demands by Democrats to call Bolton as a witness in Trump’s impeachment trial.
But House impeachment manager Adam Schiff found Bolton’s motives “vexing” as he questioned why the former national security adviser had previously refused to voluntarily testify before the House.
Adam Schiff appears to agree with President Trump on John Bolton’s motives https://t.co/xc9pLBGFbB
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 28, 2020
The claims were addressed by White House counsel Alan Dershowitz on in the Senate trial on Monday.
“It follows from this that if a president, any president, were to have done what the Times reported about the content of the Bolton manuscript, that would not constitute an impeachable offense,” Dershowitz said.
“Let me repeat. Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense,” he added. “That is clear from the history, that is clear from the language of the Constitution. You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like ‘quid pro quo’ and ‘personal benefit.'”
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