The Slatest

Former Trump Homeland Security Adviser “Deeply Disturbed” by Ukraine Call

Tom Bossert talks to John Kelly, the then-White House chief of staff, during a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) roundtable on February 2, 2018 in Sterling, Virginia.
Tom Bossert talks to John Kelly, the then-White House chief of staff, during a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) roundtable on February 2, 2018 in Sterling, Virginia. Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s first Homeland Security adviser said he is “deeply disturbed” and “frustrated” by his former boss’s efforts to get a foreign leader to investigate a political rival. “You and I lived through the impeachment of President [Bill] Clinton and saw how frustrating and dividing it could be and I just spent the week overseas and I’ll tell you, the whole world is watching,” Tom Bossert said on ABC’s This Week to hos George Stephanopoulos, who served in the Clinton administration.

Although Bossert, who served as Homeland Security adviser from 2017 to 2018, cautioned against rushing to judgment on the accusations against Trump, he also didn’t minimize the accusations. “It is a bad day and a bad week for this president and this country—if he is asking for political dirt on an opponent.” Still, he emphasized that it is “far from proven” whether he was abusing his power.

Bossert was a lot more direct when criticizing Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, particularly expressing frustration that many in the president’s inner circles appear to be pushing “completely debunked” conspiracy theories on the president. Specifically, he was referring to the theory that claims it was Ukraine rather than Russia that hacked into the Democratic National Committee server. “It’s not only a conspiracy theory.
it is completely debunked. I don’t want to be glib about this matter but last year, retired former Senator Judd Gregg wrote a piece in The Hill magazine saying the three ways or five way to impeach oneself and the third way was to hire Rudy Giuliani,” Bossert said.
“At this point, I am deeply frustrated with what he and legal team are doing in repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again. And for clarity here, George, let me just, again, repeat that it has no validity.”

Later on the same show, Giuliani defended himself and claimed he was being accused of something he had never done. “Tom Bossert doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Giuliani said. “I’m not peddling anything.” But Giuliani did not answer the question why Trump had repeated the debunked conspiracy theory.