News ID: 270542
Published: 0222 GMT June 23, 2020

Pompeo compares ex-security advisor Bolton to Edward Snowden

Pompeo compares ex-security advisor Bolton to Edward Snowden

John Bolton's explosive tell-all account of his time as national security advisor is comparable to Edward Snowden's disclosure of state-backed mass surveillance of US citizens, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

Pompeo's comments came the night before the release of Bolton's book ‘The Room Where It Happened’, which contains many damning allegations against US President Donald Trump, AFP reported.

"Frankly, the information he has released puts criminal liability squarely on him," the top US diplomat told Fox News.

"We all saw what's happened when people leak classified information like Edward Snowden. What John Bolton did here is not dissimilar to that," Pompeo said.

Edward Snowden is a former US intelligence contractor who revealed in 2013 that US agents from the National Security Agency (NSA) were carrying out widespread surveillance on citizens.

Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since his revelation. He has been charged in the US with espionage and theft of state secrets and faces up to 30 years in prison.

"This kind of information getting out, it presents real risk and real harm to the United States of America," Pompeo added.

Bolton's book is an account of his 17 months serving as national security advisor.

The book contends that Trump is not "fit for office" and describes the president "pleading" with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, to help boost his chances of reelection in November.

Pompeo also said on ‘Hannity’ Monday that Bolton was left out of meetings "because he was leaking or he would twist things or he'd lie".

"The president and others, myself included, had to cut him out of meetings," Pompeo said of Bolton, adding that based on what he's seen of the book, "there's lots of falsehoods, there's lots of lies contained in there".

"It was a really difficult situation where John Bolton thought he was more important than the president of the United States and the American people," the secretary of state said, reported.

"This president's foreign policy is something that John Bolton should've been proud of and instead he stepped away in a way that fundamentally misrepresents what we've done. Frankly," Pompeo went on, "the information that he's released puts criminal liability squarely on him”.

Over the past few days, Trump and his team, including Pompeo, have vacillated between two courses of action: Denouncing the book as "fiction", but also claiming it is full of highly sensitive, classified information.

The White House had sought to halt the book's publication, but a US judge refused Saturday to block its release, saying it was too late for a restraining order.


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