John Bolton confirms Trump used the term "burner phones" in the White House

The former president had previously claimed he didn't know what a burner phone was

Published March 31, 2022 1:04PM (EDT)

Donald Trump, John Bolton (Getty/Mark Wilson)
Donald Trump, John Bolton (Getty/Mark Wilson)

This article originally appeared on Raw Story


National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke to CNN on Thursday morning to give further information about his claim that Donald Trump was lying when he said he didn't know what a "burner phone" was.

Bolton reiterated a Tuesday comment that he heard the ex-president use the words "burner phones a number of times... It was a term he kind of liked. He would say, 'they have these burner phones.' The former president's acquaintance with the truth is often very casual. This is a good example of it."

He went on to say that he wasn't sure if Trump used one specifically because he so frequently "didn't come down to the Oval Office until late in the morning." Bolton said Trump would make his calls from the residence.

"I certainly spoke to him up there many times on regular phones, on the secure phones or regular landline," said Bolton. "What else he was doing up there, I certainly don't know.

He went even further, saying that if there were no call logs between those hours then it was a "deliberate" move because he knows people who spoke to Trump during that time. Previous reports from Rolling Stone said that Jan. 6 rally organizer Kylie Kremer directed Trump aides to use burner phones, including Lara Trump, Eric Trump, campaign aide Katrina Pierson, and chief of staff Mark Meadows. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen told Raw Story this week that he knows at least one person who was tasked with buying three burner phones from CVS prior to Jan. 6 to use in the efforts that day. Eric Trump threatened to sue after that report.

"Well, I think it's very hard to believe that anybody redid the log to purge information from it," said Bolton. "These are routinely made, that is not subject to high-level scrutiny. So, if there was interference with it, it would be great extraordinary. I think it means the former president made a deliberate effort not to use Oval Office phones or government phones during that period. I don't know how else to explain it. We know from what others said, he did have phone conversations with them that day that are not outside the gap period."

CNN's Brianna Keilar asked to confirm that Bolton believed Trump was intentionally not using the Oval Office phone or Residence phone the way he frequently did.

"I don't know what other explanation would make any sense, frankly," said Bolton. When asked why, he said, frankly, "because he didn't want a record of the calls. And what he was saying in those calls is anybody's guess. Some people say they have received calls, they have described what the subject of the conversation was. So we know he was making calls. What other calls he made. At this point, we don't know."

See the conversation below:

By Sarah Burris

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Brief Burner Phones Deliberate Donald Trump John Bolton Raw Story