'The president is afraid': Historian tells CNN that Trump's attempt to block Bolton's book is an epic blunder
President Donald Trump. (AFP / Jim WATSON)

Historian Timothy Naftali, a clinical associate professor of public service at New York University, told a CNN panel on Wednesday that President Donald Trump's attempt to block former national security adviser John Bolton from publishing his book would be a massive political blunder.

While discussing the news that the Trump White House sent a formal threat to Bolton warning him against publishing his book, Naftali predicted that the move would backfire and make it more likely that vulnerable Republican senators would call for Bolton to testify.

"One of the reasons why this is... a bad political strategy [is] there are people who don't want to be part of a coverup," he said. "This kind of letter is sending a signal that the president is afraid. I don't think it's helpful to Murkowski, Lamar Alexander, Collins, Romney. The president is basically saying, 'We don't want anybody to see this.'"

The threat against Bolton marks an escalation for the Trump White House, which has resisted allowing Bolton to testify in the president’s Senate impeachment trial. The president himself attacked Bolton in a tweet on Wednesday morning, and claimed that he fired him as national security adviser because he wanted to start “World War Six.”

Watch the video of Naftali's analysis below.