President Donald Trump said his former National Security Adviser John Bolton could have "a very strong criminal problem" if he goes ahead with the publication of his book that's slated to hit the shelves on June 23.
"I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified. So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he's broken the law. And I would think that he would have criminal problems," Trump told reporters Monday at the White House.
Trump added that Bolton's situation would be "criminal liability" if he releases the book without it first being cleared by the government. "That's a big thing."
Later, he said, "When you do classified, that to me is a very strong criminal problem. He knows he's got classified information. Any conversation with me is classified. Then it becomes even worse if he lies about the conversation, which I understand he might have in some cases."
Bolton's book has been delayed for months as the Trump administration seeks to block its release. His legal team claims the White House is merely trying to prevent damaging information about Trump getting out.
Attorney General William Barr said, "The thing that is front and center right now is trying to get him to complete the process, go through the process and make the necessary deletions of classified information," Barr said.
Bolton has vowed to release the book — "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir" — next week despite attempts by the White House to prevent that from happening. It was recently reported that the book accuses Trump of misconduct.
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