Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Dan Bongino on John Bolton's manuscript leak: 'There is nothing here'

Talia Kaplan 
Fox News
The New York Times publishes a report about what National Security Adviser John Bolton's new book has to say about Ukraine aid; Fox News contributor Dan Bongino reacts.

Former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent Dan Bongino downplayed Monday a report in The New York Times revealing a bombshell excerpt from former national security adviser John Bolton's forthcoming book that could prove pivotal in President Trump's impeachment trial.

“This is like the biggest box of air popcorn you have ever seen,” Bongino said on “Fox & Friends."

“It's like you ordered something from Amazon, a brand new computer, and the box arrives and you’re all excited and you’re digging through the air popcorn and you get to the bottom and you find out you are looking at the bottom of the box and there’s no computer.”

The Times exclusively reported on Sunday that Bolton's manuscript included a claim that Trump explicitly linked a hold on Ukraine aid to an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden. Trump told Bolton in August, according to a transcript of Bolton's forthcoming book reviewed by the Times, "that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens."

Trump fired back on Twitter on Sunday to refute Bolton's claims, saying he "NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens." Trump went on to accuse Bolton of trying to "sell a book," noting that Bolton did not complain publicly or privately about the aid holdup "at the time of his very public termination."

The Times' report was published just as the Amazon product page for the book went live.

Referencing Bolton's manuscript, Bongino claimed “there is nothing here" when it comes to proving the Democrats' impeachment case.

He said The New York Times story "buried" the date of the meeting, which he said was August 18.

"Well, why is that significant? Because the Ukrainians didn't even find out for another basically two weeks that the aid was even on hold," Bongino argued.

Bongino went on to say, “So this is supposed to be some big, huge pressure campaign against the Ukrainians: deliver on Biden or no aid. And, yet, this conversation happened before the Ukrainians even knew the aid was held up.”

He then asked, “Do you understand The New York Times annihilated its own story?”

When asked if the report makes it harder to rationalize not having Bolton as a witness in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, Bongino listed four reasons as to why he thinks the testimony is not necessary.

“We know the aid was delivered, there are no victims, there [is] no crime and the Democrats' corruption in Ukraine is real,” Bongino said on Monday. “Produce a witness for what? What is Bolton going to say? What of one of those four things can he refute? The answer is none of it.” 

Host Brian Kilmeade said the potential danger for the Trump team is if Bolton testifies that Trump wanted the investigation of the Bidens in order to hurt the former VP's presidential campaign.

Fox News’ Gregg Re and Gillian Turner contributed to this report.

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