Trump, Kushner Turn on John Bolton After Latest Book Leak, Republicans Demand His Security Clearance Revoked

President Donald Trump, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, and Senator Rand Paul are leading the Republican charge against former national security adviser John Bolton, as more damning book leaks continued into the weekend.

Kushner told CNN Saturday that Bolton and several ex-senior administration officials, including former Defense Secretary James Mattis and chief of staff John Kelly, "didn't have what it took to be successful" in his father-in-law's White House. Kushner, whose own security clearance has been under intense scrutiny, told CNN Saturday that most Americans "are not paying attention" to the entire impeachment process. He then took a swipe at Bolton and several other former administration officials who went on to write books, saying they simply couldn't keep up with Trump's so-called successes.

"What I have seen is that the cream has risen and -- I'm not going to say what the word is -- but that has sank," Kushner said of Bolton and others who have left. "[Trump has] cycled out a lot of the people who didn't have what it took to be successful here, and a lot of the people who have come in and been excellent are not out there complaining and writing books because they're too busy working."

Meanwhile, Paul urged the president on Twitter to revoke Bolton's security clearance. He also blasted Bolton for trying to "profit" as Ukraine impeachment claims continue leaking from his upcoming book. "No one, especially not John Bolton, should be able to use their security clearance for profit! I say revoke his clearance now ⁦@realDonaldTrump," Senator Paul tweeted Saturday morning.

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci even offered Bolton some advice on how to deal with Trump's attacks against his credibility.

Pro-Trump Republicans began blasting Bolton after his voluntary offer to testify against the president during the impeachment trial and rumors he has been intentionally leaking manuscript details to the press. Bolton has repeatedly denied any part in the leaks.

On Friday, the same day the Senate voted 51-49 not to call witnesses like Bolton in Trump's impeachment trial, The New York Times reported the president and lead impeachment defense attorney, Pat Cipollone, instructed Bolton in May to begin pressuring Ukraine. The latest leak from Bolton's unpublished manuscript claimed Trump directed Bolton to plan trips aimed at extracting damaging information about Democrats from Ukrainian officials.

The president himself has specifically targeted Bolton on social media: "For a guy who couldn't get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don't do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V., and many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"

In addition to attacks on his credibility from pro-Trump Republicans, Bolton has also drawn the ire of Democrats and moderate conservatives.

"Tick tock, Bolton. Barr is gonna shred your book to dust, Trump has made you an enemy, and you're out of time. Come to the dark side. It's crab cake Friday," tweeted Republican strategist and pundit Rick Wilson. The New York Times Editorial Board also penned a Friday piece urging the House of Representatives to "immediately issue a subpoena to John Bolton."

john bolton jared kushner leaks
President Trump, Jared Kushner and Rand Paul began lashing out at former national security adviser John Bolton as damning Ukraine book leaks continue. MANDEL NGAN /AFP/Getty Images

The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., retweeted a post urging his supporters not to contribute any money to Bolton's PAC project he announced in November after leaving the White House. "Anyone who contributes a penny to this guy's PAC should be excommunicated from the Republican party. Same for anyone that takes a penny from him going forward," wrote Arthur Schwartz, a conservative consultant.