Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine on Sunday questioned whether former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s newly chosen national security adviser, could get a security clearance.
“I wonder about that,” Kaine said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” pointing to Bolton’s 2013 appearance in a video recorded for a Russian gun rights group backed by an oligarch and ally of Russian president Vladmir Putin.
“These kinds of contacts with foreign governments … raise real question in my mind as to whether he can get a full security clearance or not.
Kaine described it as “speech” Bolton gave in Russia, but NPR reported it was a video Bolton recorded at the request of NRA President David Keene for the national conference of The Right To Bear Arms, which is backed by Alexander Torshin, a close ally of Putin‘s.
In the video, Bolton encourages Russian activists to push for a right to bear arms in their constitution. Bolton didn’t actually attend the conference.
Bolton was chosen last week to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser. The post is not subject to Senate confirmation.
“We’ve already lost one national security adviser, Michael Flynn, because he was lying about foreign contacts,” Kaine said. “I have many, many questions.”