John Bolton, a former national security advisor to former President Trump, expressed “worry” over the way the former president handled confidential materials.
He discussed how the previous nation’s leader handled the country’s most sensitive national security information and papers in an interview with CBS News.
The FBI last week took some of these kinds of documents from his Mar-a-Lago residence.
According to Bolton, a longtime conservative who now opposes Trump, talks of nuclear weapons material sometimes appeared in Trump’s routine intelligence briefings.
Bolton was speaking to CBS News’ top election and campaign reporter Robert Costa.
He said that intelligence briefers often brought images or charts for the president to see and gave them to him.
“The president would often ask, “Well, can I keep this?” Well, sir, we’d love to take it back, the intelligence briefers would most often respond, in my experience “Bolton declared. “But sometimes they forget,”
Bolton was concerned that Trump wants to keep possession of crucial papers.
The secrecy of most of this material wasn’t treated with the same importance by him, which worried Bolton.
He just didn’t understand the potential risks associated with failing to protect this information’s integrity as well as the sources and techniques used to get it.
Costa learned about the previous president’s propensity to work sometimes from the White House home from several people who were employed there.
Although he received his briefing in the Oval Office, he preferred to work from home in the mornings and nights, according to the sources.
The sources said that he often brought a stack of paperwork from his place of employment and personal belongings to the house.
Since few, if any, individuals inquired as to what Trump was carrying, Bolton said that the breakdown of tracking documentation often occurred during that trip from the West Wing to the house.
Costa questioned Bolton as to why the president had returned to Florida after leaving office with possibly sensitive materials. Bolton said, “Because he felt he could get away with it.
Bolton remarked, “I believe the president had problems separating the personal and the public parts of his work.”
“And they do complement one another in many ways.
However, it is evident that the purpose of the Presidential Records Act and other regulations is to maximise protection for the job’s public-facing components.
People don’t assume these jobs because they want to benefit themselves.”
The government is reportedly looking into Trump for possibly breaking Section 793 of the Espionage Act, which involves acquiring, transferring, or losing defence material.
It also includes refusing to give over information that the government has requested. Investigators are also looking into possible violations of two additional laws by the former president, one of which covers removing, falsifying, or destroying public data, and the other of which covers obstructing the administration of justice.
Bolton and Trump didn’t get along well when he was in the White House, and ever since he left, they have openly attacked one another.
In an effort to prevent Bolton from publishing his book, “The Room Where It Happened,” the Justice Department sued him.
Ultimately, the Justice Department withdrew the case, but this only made Trump’s opinion of Bolton worse.
It’s “likely a fiction,” according to Bolton, that Trump had a standing order to automatically declassify papers seized from the Oval Office.
As national security advisor, he was also not aware of such a standing order.
He informed Costa that the president still had a duty to properly file papers, notwithstanding any claims from Trump friends that the materials found at Mar-a-Lago were somehow declassified.
Despite the president’s vast declassification powers, a procedure must be followed. On CBS News’
“Face the Nation” on Sunday, House Judiciary Chairman Adam Schiff said, “We should find out, you know, if there was any attempt during the president to go through the process of declassification.”
But he said, “Neither have they offered any proof of that, nor have I seen any evidence of it.”