State department muted reporter's phone asking about Bolton's book during press call on Chinese censorship of the press
Fox News neocon and soon-to-be Trump national security adviser John Bolton. (Image via Wikimedia Commons. )

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.

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.