Former National Security Advisor John Bolton claimed on Friday that the Trump administration prevented him from using his Twitter account following his resignation several weeks ago, a claim that was met with strong response from White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Stephanie Grisham.
“Glad to be back on Twitter after more than two months. For the backstory, stay tuned,” Bolton tweeted early on Friday, later adding, “We have now liberated the Twitter account, previously suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation as National Security Advisor. More to come.”
“Re: speaking up — since resigning as National Security Advisor, the @WhiteHouse refused to return access to my personal Twitter account. Out of fear of what I may say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!” Bolton tweeted a few hours later, adding, “In full disclosure, the @WhiteHouse never returned access to my Twitter account. Thank you to @twitter for standing by their community standards and rightfully returning control of my account.”
“The White House attached software to the account,” Bolton told The New York Times on Friday. “They would not give it back. A representative of mine spoke with John Eisenberg, who said he would get it released, and it never happened. So finally we went to Twitter.”
The Times reported that Bolton allegedly “had turned over control of his personal Twitter account to the White House when he joined the National Security Council last year” and “wanted it back when he left.”
A senior administration official told ABC News on Friday afternoon: “The White House did not block Mr. Bolton from accessing his personal Twitter account, and wouldn’t have the technical means to do so.”
NEW: After John Bolton claimed the White House “never returned access to my Twitter account,” a senior administration official tells @ABC News, “The White House did not block Mr. Bolton from accessing his personal Twitter account, and wouldn’t have the technical means to do so.” https://t.co/1KnyAGed3I
— ABC News (@ABC) November 22, 2019
On Friday evening, Grisham appeared on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” where she hit back at Bolton’s claims.
“Ambassador Bolton today with this nonsense about Twitter wanting his dedicated handle,” host Lou Dobbs said. “That was never the possession of the White House, was it?”
“Well, it was his personal account that he continued to use while he was at the White House,” Grisham responded. “I don’t know a whole lot about it, but sometimes … somebody who is of an advanced age may not understand that all you have to do is contact Twitter and reset your password if you’ve forgotten it. So I’ll just leave it at that.”
“And I’m trying to quickly calculate whether Bolton or myself is the older fellah with a Twitter account,” Dobbs responded. “It’s a shame to see Bolton behave like this, because this is a man who was next to the president, serving the President of United States, and now is acting like — to me, it’s just very disappointing that he would stoop to the level that he has, just in innuendo.”
“I hear he’s got some—a book deal and I hear he’s been on quite the speaking circuit and charging some high fees for that,” Grisham responded. “So I guess money can get you to do a lot of things.”
Press Sec Stephanie Grisham responds to John Bolton’s claim that the Trump admin locked him out of his Twitter account: “Sometimes … somebody who is of an advanced age may not understand that all you have to do is contact Twitter and reset your password if you’ve forgotten it” pic.twitter.com/Yli9YAfuNq
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 23, 2019