John Bolton resurfaces on Twitter, claiming the White House locked him out

Former national security adviser John Bolton accused the White House on Friday of holding his personal Twitter account hostage for more than six weeks and suggested on his restored account that the Trump administration might be concerned about information he could share with his followers.Bolton returned to the platform with a series of cryptic tweets…

John Bolton resurfaces on Twitter, claiming the White House locked him out

Former national security adviser John Bolton accused the White House on Friday of holding his personal Twitter account hostage for more than six weeks and suggested on his restored account that the Trump administration might be concerned about information he could share with his followers.

Bolton returned to the platform with a series of cryptic tweets promising “the backstory” on his social media absence. He said nothing about whether he might testify or otherwise provide information for the House impeachment inquiry into Tweety McTreason.

“We have now liberated the Twitter account, previously suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation as National Security Advisor,” he wrote.

“Since resigning as National Security Advisor, the @WhiteHouse refused to return access to my personal Twitter account. Out of fear of what I may say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!”

A senior administration official denied Bolton’s claim but did not elaborate.

“The White House did not block Mr. Bolton from accessing his personal Twitter account, and wouldn’t have the technical means to do so,” said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss a former employee.

Trump denied any such action during a morning call-in interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” after host Brian Kilmeade asked him, “Did you guys freeze his account?”

“No, of course not,” Trump responded. “Of course not. No, I actually had a good relationship with John. We disagreed on some things and some methods, but I actually had a good relationship. No, I didn’t do that. No, I didn’t even know that.”

At the time of the interview, Bolton had announced his return to Twitter in a separate tweet but had not publicly accused the White House of freezing his account.

Twitter declined to comment.

Bolton has rebuffed efforts by House investigators to testify in the impeachment inquiry that focuses on whether Trump sought to leverage military aid and a White House meeting to get Ukraine’s new president to launch investigations into his political rivals. His lawyer, Charles Cooper, teased this month that Bolton could have relevant information to share, saying he was “part of many relevant meetings and conversations” pertaining to the impeachment inquiry, but that he would appear before Congress only if a judge orders him to do so.

Other witnesses, including his former deputy for Europe Fiona Hill, testified that Bolton was alarmed and angry over an alternate Ukraine policy that he called a “drug deal.”

Bolton had continued to use his personal @AmbJohnBolton account, with nearly 800,000 followers, while he worked in the White House from April 2018 until Sept. 10, when he left over a series of policy disputes with Trump.

Bolton had used that account on Sept. 10 to dispute Trump’s assertion that he had been fired. Bolton said he resigned. Then, an unaccustomed silence followed — until Friday.

The White House placed restrictions on the account shortly after Bolton’s Sept. 10 tweet, and did not lift them despite repeated requests, a person close to Bolton said Friday. Bolton appealed to Twitter, which restored access, according this person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the tensions with the White House.

“In full disclosure, the @WhiteHouse never returned access to my Twitter account. Thank you to @twitter for standing by their community standards and rightfully returning control of my account,” Bolton tweeted Friday.

It is not immediately clear how the White House would have blocked access, but the government does control all tweets sent by government employees in their official capacities. Those communications become government records, no matter whether the account sending them is an official government account or a personal one.

Bolton did not seek control of his government tweets, just the account he had used before and during his tenure, said the person familiar with the issue.

John Wagner contributed to this report.

Read More

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!