Count John Bolton’s former chief of staff Fred Fleitz among those disappointed and concerned by the release of Bolton’s new tell-all book:

Fleitz writes:

Presidents must be able to candidly consult with their advisers without worrying they will leak these discussions to the press or obtain high-dollar book contracts to publish them.  A book by a former national security adviser ahead of a president’s reelection bid may set a dangerous precedent since it could discourage future presidents from seeking advice from expert advisers on sensitive national security matters.

I haven’t seen Bolton’s book manuscript and I don’t know what’s in it.  I take Bolton and his staff at their word that they did not leak the manuscript to the New York Times.  But I believe they are still responsible for this leak since Bolton’s explosive book was sent to the leak-prone National Security Council for a security review in December 2019 so the book could be published in the spring of 2020.  It also is inexplicable how such a sensitive manuscript could be sent to the NSC in the middle of the impeachment process.  Under such circumstances, a leak of the manuscript was all but certain.

If a manuscript of this sensitivity was to be published at all, this should happen after the election, not in the spring of 2020.  I don’t understand the need for a former National Security Adviser to publish a tell-all book critical of a president he served, especially during a presidential reelection campaign that will determine the fate of the country.  There will be a time for Bolton to speak out without appearing to try to tip a presidential election.

Given the hype surrounding Bolton’s book, it’s unlikely that Bolton will take Fleitz’s advice to heart. But at least Fleitz has said his piece.