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A Bolton Predecessor Gives Him a Hard Time

Ex-national security advisers face off
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2020 9:35 AM CST

(Newser) – Two former national security advisers faced off at a Vanderbilt University event Wednesday, with the Obama administration's Susan Rice taking former Trump staffer John Bolton to task for not testifying in the impeachment process against President Trump. NBC News reports that Bolton scoffed at the idea his testimony regarding Ukraine would have made a difference in the trial's outcome, noting how partisan the whole process had become. He also said he'd never been subpoenaed to testify. Rice pushed back, noting ex-National Security Council members Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill had stepped up to the plate to offer their takes. "It's inconceivable to me that if I had firsthand knowledge of gross abuse of presidential power that I would withhold my testimony from a constitutional accountability process," Rice said, per CNN.

Rice also brought up that when she was asked as national security adviser to testify in front of a House panel regarding Benghazi, she really didn't want to leave her job duties to do so—but she did, without a subpoena, per the Guardian. Bolton also defended himself against accusations that he saved up juicy information he knows simply to sell his upcoming book. He claims he can't speak publicly about what's in it because the White House is reviewing the manuscript to see if it contains classified information, and that he's afraid the administration might sue him if he prematurely divulges any content. At any rate, Bolton says he's OK with the choices he's made. "I've done the best I could in difficult circumstances," he noted. "I sleep at night because I have followed my conscience." (Read more John Bolton stories.)

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