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Top NSC official involved in John Bolton book controversy returning to White House

Ellen Knight is returning to her old role at the National Security Council, after she was pushed out of the Trump administration over a controversy involving former national security adviser John Bolton’s book. Knight is returning to her post as the senior director for records, access, and information security management at the NSC.

Knight oversaw the initial prepublication review of Bolton’s memoir about his service in the Trump White House, “The Room Where It Happened,” for classified information. In a court filing in 2020, she detailed “unprecedented” involvement by political appointees in the White House who “commandeered what is supposed to be an apolitical process.” 

“Ellen Knight is a dedicated career public servant,” NSC spokesperson Emily Horne told CBS News. “We’re thankful to have her return to the National Security Council as the Senior Director for Records, Access, and Information Security Management and benefit from her extensive experience in classified information management.”

The Trump administration sued Bolton over his book to stop it from being published, claiming its publication would jeopardize national security information. The book was published by Simon & Schuster, a division of Paramount Global.

Bolton applauded Knight’s return in a statement. 

“I applaud the decision of the White House to reinstate Ellen Knight as an NSC senior director,” he said Wednesday. “Trump’s disgraceful firing of Ms. Knight is another stain on his presidency. Those in the NSC and White House Counsel’s office who tried to intimidate Ms. Knight, and then carried out Trump’s personal vendetta, should be held to account.”



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