Bolton accuses White House of ‘suppressing’ his personal Twitter

The ex-national security adviser says the White House ‘refused to return’ access to his account after he was forced out.

john bolton
Former National security adviser John Bolton said accused the White House of suppressing his Twitter account. [File: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press]

Former United States National Security Adviser John Bolton has returned to Twitter, claiming the Trump administration had suppressed his account after he was forced out in September. 

Bolton, in a series of posts on Frida, wrote “we have now liberated the Twitter account, previously suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation as National Security Advisor”.

“Since resigning as National Security Advisor, the @WhiteHouse refused to return access to my personal Twitter account,” Bolton continued in another post. “Out of fear of I may say?”

“To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!” he added. 

Bolton’s most recent post before Friday’s salvo was on September 10, the day President Donald Trump announced Bolton had been fired. Trump cited that he and Bolton, who was appointed to the post in April 2018, had “strongly disagreed on major issues”.

In his final September tweet, Bolton disputed that he had been fired, saying he had offered to resign the day before, and Trump responded, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow”.

Bolton, who formerly served as US ambassador to the UN and undersecretary of state, had initially been considered an unexpected pick for Trump. His reputation as a hawk conflicted with Trump’s campaign platform of isolationist “America First” policies. 

Bolton clashed at some point with several major foreign policy areas of the Trump administration, including on policy towards Iran, Russia, China, North Korea and Syria. 

The former national security adviser said on Friday that the White House had not returned the access to his account. “Thank you @twitter for standing by their community standards and returning control of my account,” Bolton said. 

The White House did not immediately respond to Bolton’s charges. 

Impeachment investigation

Bolton’s reemergence on Twitter comes as the House of Representatives continues its impeachment investigation of Trump. 

Democrats leading a House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine have asked Bolton to testify. Bolton, who was the national security adviser during the period being investigated, has said that he would not testify unless forced to.

The White House and State Department have prohibited employees from testifying. Witnesses who have appeared before the House have done so under subpoena. 

Bolton did not show for a scheduled hearing on November 7, and is reportedly awaiting a ruling by a judge about whether White House officials must testify if subpoenaed by Congress. 

To date, legislators have not subpoenaed Bolton. 

In public testimony on Thursday, Fiona Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian Affairs, said Bolton had described the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as a “hand grenade” whose work pushing the president’s political agenda in foreign policy would undermine the entire administration. 

Hill also testified that a July 10 meeting of US and Ukrainian officials, which included Ambassador the EU Gordon Sondland, was so alarming that Bolton told her to tell the White House lawyer.

Sondland testified on Wednesday that under Trump’s orders he worked with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who implemented a pressure campaign to get Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into Burisma, a gas company linked to political rival Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and the 2016 US elections in exchange for a White House meeting. Legislators are also trying to determine if $400m in withheld military aid was also part of that pressure campaign.

Sondland “blurted” out details of his effort during the meeting, Hill testified, causing Bolton to noticeably “stiffen”, she said. 

Bolton later told Hill to make clear to the lawyer that he was “not part of whatever drug deal” Sondland and Trump’s acting chief of staff were cooking up, Hill said. 

Source: Al Jazeera