‘Nothing was ever said to John Bolton’: Trump lays groundwork as GOP preps false ‘executive privilege’ claims
President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question after his announcement of the proposed changes to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

As President Donald Trump continues to distance himself from John Bolton Senate Republicans are cobbling together a strategy to protect the president in the wake of the bombshell manuscript penned by the former National Security Advisor. That draft of a book due out in less than two months reveals Trump told Bolton in August to continue to withhold aid from Ukraine in order to continue his extortion scheme.

Speaking to reporters briefly Monday morning, with embattled and indicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his side, Trump insisted Bolton knew nothing.

"Nothing was ever said to John Bolton," Trump claimed, passively, straining credulity. Bolton was Trump's National Security Advisor for nearly a year and a half, from April 9, 2018 – September 10, 2019.

Trump also claimed he had not seen the manuscript, which was submitted to the White House for review, a normal protocol.

CNN's Manu Raju reveals that top Republican Senators are "expected to push back against" issuing a subpoena for Bolton to testify, "arguing it would raise constitutional and executive privilege concerns."

That's a false claim, as executive privilege does not extend to criminal acts. Some legal experts have said Trump tweeting about and discussing Bolton's book erase any possible claim of executive privilege as well.

Raju adds attempts to subpoena Bolton (or, presumably his book) "would lead to [a] protracted legal fight." Republicans will also "reiterate that it was the House’s job to conduct the probe - not Senate’s," which is also incorrect.

He also quotes Wyoming GOP Senator John Barrasso:

In other words, despite the "weak tea" claim that some Senators are considering asking Bolton to testify, and given the reported threat the White House issued to GOP Senators last week, there's currently little chance Americans will see John Bolton on their TV screens testifying before the U.S. Senate.