John Bolton Accuses CNN Host of Picking Russian Collusion Fight During Venezuela Discussion

National Security Adviser John Bolton accused a CNN host of picking a fight after he was pressed about a scheduled call with Russians he mentioned just moments before on Fox News.

Bolton derailed a Wednesday interview with CNN's New Day co-host John Berman, accusing the interviewer of cornering him in a discussion about Russian collusion after first speaking about the Venezuelan uprising. Bolton, who appeared calm in front of his Fox News interlocutor, repeatedly accused Berman of trying to pick a fight with him over allegations of Russian collusion with President Donald Trump.

"Look, I said before I'm not going to get into the specifics to that. I think Secretary Pompeo will be addressing his counterpart. We have had a lot of conversations with the Russians, that's for sure," Bolton shot back at Berman Wednesday morning, declining to specifically address Trump's contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Fox & Friends, just minutes before the CNN interview, Bolton had been asked by host Brian Kilmeade if U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or Trump had spoken to the Russians.

"If you want to back off the Russians you have to call the Russians," Kilmeade said. "Has the secretary of state called his counterpart Lavrov, has the president talked to Vladimir Putin? And if so, what was the interaction like?"

"The call is scheduled for Mike, I think, today," Bolton replied. "It's an important call. We made this clear in number of different channels over the past several months."

Bolton's appearance on CNN turned when Berman asked about details from the Fox appearance.

"Because I'm reading a transcript of an interview you just did on Fox News," Berman responded, before being cut off by Bolton.

"I guess, what? You want to ask me about Russian collusion—it's just unbelievable. Let's talk about Venezuela," Bolton shot back.

"No, I don't. Not even a little," Berman said, scrambling to cite a note from the Fox News transcript. "The part I'm looking at right now, it says 'Ambassador John Bolton told "Fox & Friends" that President Trump will call Vladimir Putin today.' We will take another look at that. As you said, that's only one of the issues here."

"That doesn't sound like a transcript to me, it sounded like a report," Bolton replied, forcing Berman to again say he was not pushing the Trump administration official into a collusion corner.

"This is not, you're missing the overall point here. I'm not trying to pick a fight on Russia," Berman added.

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National Security Adviser John Bolton accused a CNN host of picking a fight after he was pressed about a scheduled call with the Russians he mentioned just moments before on Fox News. Screenshot: CNN | YouTube