Former White House chief of staff John Kelly told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida, on Monday evening said that he finds former National Security Adviser John Bolton to be an “honest guy” as Bolton continues to face a barrage of attacks from President Donald Trump, reports the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
“If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton,” Kelly told a crowd in Sarasota, Fla., speaking as part of the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series.
The remarks from the retired Marine general came after The New York Times published details Sunday of a draft of Bolton’s White House memoir, which asserts that Trump told Bolton in August that the administration should continue withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations targeting former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats.
Asked about those bombshell allegations Monday, Kelly said that “John’s an honest guy. He’s a man of integrity and great character, so we’ll see what happens.”
“Every single time I was with him … he always gave the president the unvarnished truth,” Kelly said of Bolton.
“I mean, half of Americans think this process is purely political and shouldn’t be happening, but since it is happening, the majority of Americans would like to hear the whole story,” Kelly said of President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
“So, I think if there are people that could contribute to this, either innocence or guilt … I think they should be heard,” he said, adding: “I think some of the conversations seem to me to be very inappropriate, but I wasn’t there. But there are people that were there that ought to be heard from.”
Trump has denied ever communicating to Bolton that military aid to Ukraine was tied to launching probes into the Bidens, tweeting Monday that “If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”
The president briefly addressed Bolton’s book yesterday, telling reporters that he hasn’t seen the manuscript, but adding, in an odd passive voice, “Nothing was ever said to John Bolton.”
Asked for his response to Bolton’s allegations, Trump later said, “False…. Totally false.”