Fox News Host Says Bolton Book Leak is 'Important Development,' Has Trump Supporters 'Spinning Like Crazy'

A Fox News host said the news that John Bolton, Donald Trump's former national security adviser, wrote that the president wanted to continue withholding aid from Ukraine until the country conducted an investigation into Democrats was an "important development" that had some supporters of the president "spinning like crazy."

The host, Chris Wallace, referred to a story that The New York Times broke on Sunday, which relies on information from a source with direct knowledge of Bolton's upcoming book. The source told the Times that Trump had said to Bolton that he wanted to continue to keep $391 million in military aid from Ukraine until the country's government agreed to conduct investigations into Democrats, including Trump's potential political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

However, the president adamantly denied that he told Bolton this. "I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens," he tweeted Monday.

Trump was impeached by the House in December, charged with abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to conduct the investigations. He is also charged with obstructing Congress by not cooperating with the impeachment process. As the Constitution dictates, he is now on trial in the Senate to determine whether he will be removed from office.

The trial began on January 16, and there has been an ongoing debate in the Senate about whether witnesses should be permitted to testify. Democrats have wanted to allow witnesses, citing the fact that previous impeachment trials have included them. Specifically, they have said they want Bolton to testify because he was the national security adviser when Trump made the investigations request to Ukraine's president. Meanwhile, some Republicans have said that witnesses are unnecessary in the trial.

On Fox, Wallace was asked what he thought of the news about the Bolton "revelation," and he replied that it was very important to Trump's trial.

"If you want a sense of how big the news is that we've heard in the last 12 hours...just listen to the Trump supporters—frankly, like Congressman Lee Zeldin and a lot of others—spinning like crazy that it isn't big news, and you get a sense that this is really an important development in this case," he said.

Wallace said that the Bolton news should be considered in context: There were assumptions about how the rest of Trump's trial would proceed before the Times story broke. He said that the Senate was expected to vote on a motion allowing witnesses to testify but that it would fail. Then, Republican senators, who are in the majority, would vote to acquit the president.

Now, Wallace argued, the Bolton news has changed everything.

"There was a lot of talk that this trial was going to be over by Friday," Wallace said. "That may still happen, but it seems to me [that] it's much, much less likely, because the main argument that the defense has made is there's no firsthand evidence that the president specifically conditioned support for Ukraine on political investigations of the Democrats and Joe Biden."

The Senate has not yet decided whether to allow witnesses to testify.

Justin Baragona, a contributor to The Daily Beast, shared a clip of Wallace's words on Fox News in a tweet posted Monday.

Fox News' Chris Wallace on the Bolton news: "If you want a sense of how big the news is that we've heard in the past 12-14 hours, listen to the Trump supporters...spinning like crazy that it isn't big news and you get a sense that this is really an important development."

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 27, 2020

In another Fox News clip, from about 17 minutes after the one Baragona shared, Wallace could be seen telling conservative commentator Katie Pavlich to "get your facts straight!" before anchor Bret Baier asks the two of them to "tone it down." The clip was shared by Oliver Darcy, a reporter for CNN.

Whoa, sparks fly on Fox News: Chris Wallace tells @KatiePavlich, "Get your facts straight!" @BretBaier then says, "Let's tone it down."

— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 27, 2020
John Bolton Delivers Keynote Address At CSIS
Former national security adviser John Bolton speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on September 30, 2019. In the manuscript of his new book, which has been leaked, he says President Donald Trump directly tied military aid to Ukraine to political investigations he wanted the country to launch. Win McNamee/Getty