Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attacked former national security adviser John Bolton for his new tell-all book coming out Tuesday. But when reporters had questions for a lower-level official, they were shut out of a press conference phone call.
Assistant Secretary David Stilwell was conducting a briefing on Chinese propaganda and press censorship when he was asked by a reporter whether United States allies in Asia had reached out to officials about concerns over Bolton's book.
"Earlier today South Korea, a country in Stilwell's region, did put out a statement on Bolton's book," said CBS News reporter Kylie Atwood.
“AT&T we can mute that line,” said State Dept Spox when a reporter asked Asst Secretary Stilwell whether US allies… https://t.co/UXVdg9ZBRV— Kylie Atwood (@Kylie Atwood) 1592853776.0
Instead of answering the question, the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department censored the reporter, asking AT&T to "mute the line" of that reporter.
NBC News reporter Josh Lederman noted that last week Pompeo accused Bolton of "treason" for the book.
Last week Pompeo released a statement accusing John Bolton of treason. Today, when a reporter asked about diplomat… https://t.co/AHJjX8XUyr— Josh Lederman (@Josh Lederman) 1592853990.0
"OKAY, AT&T WE CAN MUTE THAT LINE." During a briefing on Chinese propaganda and press censorship, the State Departm… https://t.co/kqvMEGaubP— Deirdre Shesgreen (@Deirdre Shesgreen) 1592852500.0