Bolton mostly mum on Ukraine, but drops lots of hints at Duke appearance

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Former National Security Advisor John Bolton on Monday spoke sparingly but assertively about his upcoming book detailing his tumultuous 17 months working in the Trump Administration.

Bolton, speaking before a packed house of 1,100 at Duke University's Page Auditorium, teased the crowd about several revelations in the book but withheld most details.

"I hope my book is not suppressed," Bolton said, blasting the Trump Administration's review of the manuscript. "This (book) is an effort to write history. We'll see what comes out of censorship"

Sections of The Room Where it Happened manuscript leaked to The New York Times last month, which the newspaper reported Bolton describing a united White House effort to withhold $391 million in aid to Ukraine unless the country agreed to open investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

ABC News later reported the revelations "caused 'confusion' and 'frustration' among Senate Republicans, some of whom were blindsided by the news as moderates weighed whether they should hear from Bolton during the (impeachment) trial.

Bolton, ultimately, did not testify at the impeachment trial. He eschewed questions on Monday about why he was unwilling to appear before the House but changed his mind about the Senate.

The hour-long event was moderated by Peter Feaver, director of American Grand Strategy and professor of political science and public policy at Duke.

His questions to Bolton ranged from the Ukraine controversy to Bolton's past experiences in other Republican administrations, including Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.

When it came to other aspects of Trump's presidency, Bolton did not hold back. He called Trump's overtures to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as "doomed to failure" which has "wasted two years."

On Iran, Bolton also called the administration's policies as a "failure" because it didn't live up to what Bolton called the "bumper sticker slogan" of "maximum pressure."

Bolton's appearance at Duke University came with several restrictions on media: all members of the audience were prohibited from recording any audio of the event. ABC11, meanwhile, was restricted to recording video of the first three minutes of the program, also without audio.
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