US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says "traitor" John Bolton was left out of meetings "because he was leaking" information.
In a Monday interview with Fox News, Pompeo claimed that the former national security adviser was deemed untrustworthy and left out of meetings over suspicions he would either leak or lie about the topics discussed in them.
“The president and others, myself included, had to cut him out of meetings because he was leaking or he’d twist things or he’d lie,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo slammed Bolton's character, calling him a big-headed and egotistical individual.
"John Bolton thought he was more important than the president of the United States and the American people,” Pompeo told Fox News.
Pompeo's revelations come ahead of the Tuesday release of Bolton's memoirs titled, “The Room Where It Happened.”
The White House has claimed Bolton’s memoir contains classified information.
Bolton's book gives insider information about US national security and foreign policy during his 17-month tenure as the White House top national security advisor. Excerpts published from Bolton's book depict US President Donald Trump as an ignorant person who is unaware of US national and foreign policy affairs and "unfit for office".
“I haven’t read the book in its entirety, but the excerpts I’ve seen, there’s lots of falsehoods, there’s lot of lies contained there,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo went on to compare Bolton to Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor turned whistleblower who leaked classified information on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.
“[T]he information he has released puts criminal liability squarely on him. We all saw what’s happened when people leak classified information like Edward Snowden. What John Bolton did here is not dissimilar from that,” Pompeo said. “And while we’ll leave open for the Justice Department to take its action, this kind of information getting out, it presents real risk and real harm to the United States of America.”
Trump has informed his staff that he views his former aide as “a traitor” and that everything he told him about national security was classified.
The US president has vowed to block the book’s publication.
However, a US judge has given permission for its release on Tuesday.