President Donald Trump is facing fierce backlash on Twitter after he claimed falsely that House Democrats “never even asked” his former national security adviser John Bolton to testify during the impeachment inquiry and tried to convinced the GOP-controlled Senate that it’s not their job to call Bolton as a witness now.
“The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!” Trump tweeted early Monday morning.
Trump’s claim came hours after The New York Times reported that Bolton wrote in a draft copy of his new book that Trump told him in August that he wanted to suspend military assistance to Ukraine until the country helped with investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son as well as a debunked theory about 2016 election interference.
Those investigations are at the center of House Democrats’ charge that the president abused his power.
House investigators did ask Bolton to testify during the impeachment inquiry last fall, but he declined to testify on instructions from the White House.
The White House successfully blocked a handful of high-level current and former officials from testifying, many of whom were issued subpoenas, on the grounds that they are immune from compelled congressional testimony as top aides to Trump.
Bolton has since made clear that he is willing to testify before the Senate if issued a subpoena.
Trump has signaled, however, that the White House would try to exert executive privilege over Bolton’s testimony even if he is called by the Senate.
Read Trump’s tweet and some of the responses below:
The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020
This is another lie.
They asked him to testify on Nov. 7th, 2019.
The White House directed him not to appear, citing executive branch privileges.
Trump knows he is guilty.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) January 27, 2020
— Alternative NOAA (@altNOAA) January 27, 2020
I’m starting to sense a theme here
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) January 27, 2020
You keep trying this lame excuse.
You ordered everyone not to testify.
But you are innocent and Bolton should be able to clear you.
You actually said you'd like to see him testify.
Rejoice Oh IMPOTUS he can do that.
Then you can come testify and clear everything up.
— chris diamond (@stuckwithafork) January 27, 2020
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) January 27, 2020
Your administration firewalled the investigation. You instructed witnesses not to testify. Your surrogates had access in the House and staged made for TV events even though they had access and ability to litigate. New evidence has been uncovered. Republicans refuse to hold trial
— ♻️🇺🇸 Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) January 27, 2020
You are simply a political arsonist. You require crisis and chaos to survive. If there is no crisis, you will create one. Chaos is your oxygen. You light the match, relish in the destruction and eventually takes credit for the solution. It is you that must be extinguished. pic.twitter.com/qhGuMFdn4X
— Theodore Bulldog (@BulldogTheodore) January 27, 2020
They asked several times — you blocked him from testifying.
But thanks for giving this more attention.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) January 27, 2020