National Security

Kaine Suggests Bolton Has a ‘Track Record’ of ‘Cooking Intelligence’

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) suggested Sunday that newly-named White House national security adviser John Bolton has a history of "cooking intelligence," citing a news story that reported that the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was accused of doing so when he previously served in government.

Kaine first contrasted Bolton with President Donald Trump's outgoing national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

"General McMaster is an American patriot who speaks truth to power, and that's why the president didn't like him," Kaine said on CNN's "State of the Union."

The senator then brought up the report claiming that Bolton cooked intelligence.

"Time magazine is out with a story from yesterday that digs into deep concerns about whether John Bolton cooks intelligence," he said.

Kaine was referencing a Time report published Friday that largely quoted from a previous Time story from May 2005, when the Senate was debating  whether to confirm Bolton to be the U.N. ambassador.

"Bolton's pattern of intimidation, [opponents] claim, was also aimed at distorting vital intelligence," the 2005 report said. "Government sources tell Time that during President [George W.] Bush's first term, Bolton frequently tried to push the CIA to produce information to conform to—and confirm—his views."

The new Time report did not include any response from Bolton or his allies.

Kaine said the national security adviser's job is to gather advice from the relevant departments and agencies across the federal government to be able to present "neutral, top-quality intelligence and options to the president."

"But John Bolton had a hard time getting Senate votes to be the U.N. ambassador because of a track record, alleged by many, that he would cook intelligence in ways that even the intel agencies like the CIA found to be deeply problematic," Kaine said.

"That's one of many reasons to be concerned about him," Kaine said.