“We have now liberated the Twitter account, previously suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation as National Security Advisor,” he wrote.
“Since resigning as National Security Advisor, the @WhiteHouse refused to return access to my personal Twitter account. Out of fear of what I may say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!”
A senior administration official denied Bolton’s claim but did not elaborate.
“The White House did not block Mr. Bolton from accessing his personal Twitter account, and wouldn’t have the technical means to do so,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a former employee.
Trump denied any such action during a morning call-in interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” after host Brian Kilmeade asked him, “Did you guys freeze his account?”
“No, of course not,” Trump responded. “Of course not. No, I actually had a good relationship with John. We disagreed on some things and some methods, but I actually had a good relationship. No, I didn’t do that. No, I didn’t even know that.”
At the time of the interview, Bolton had announced his return to Twitter in a separate tweet but had not publicly accused the White House of freezing his account.
Twitter declined to comment.
Bolton has rebuffed efforts by House investigators to get him to testify in the impeachment inquiry that focuses on whether Trump sought to leverage military aid and a White House meeting to get Ukraine’s new president to launch investigations into his political rivals. Bolton’s lawyer, Charles Cooper, teased this month that Bolton could have relevant information to share, saying he was “part of many relevant meetings and conversations” pertaining to the impeachment inquiry, but that he would appear before Congress only if a judge orders him to do so.
Other witnesses, including his former deputy for Europe, Fiona Hill, testified that Bolton was alarmed and angry over an alternate Ukraine policy that he called a “drug deal.”
Bolton had continued to use his personal @AmbJohnBolton account, with nearly 800,000 followers, while he worked in the White House from April 2018 until Sept. 10, when he left over policy disputes with Trump.
Bolton had used that account on Sept. 10 to dispute Trump’s assertion that he had been fired. Bolton said he resigned. Then, an unaccustomed silence followed — until Friday.
The White House placed restrictions on the account shortly after Bolton’s Sept. 10 tweet, and did not lift them despite repeated requests, Sarah Tinsley, director of Bolton’s political action committee, said Friday. Bolton appealed to Twitter, which restored access, Tinsley said.
“In full disclosure, the @WhiteHouse never returned access to my Twitter account. Thank you to @twitter for standing by their community standards and rightfully returning control of my account,” Bolton tweeted Friday.
It is not immediately clear how the White House would have blocked access, but the government does control all tweets sent by government employees in their official capacities. Those communications become government records, no matter whether the account sending them is an official government account or a personal one.
Bolton did not seek control of his government tweets, just the account he had used before and during his tenure, said the person familiar with the issue.
John Wagner contributed to this report.