Bolton says he recalls Trump using the term "burner phones"
John Bolton, the former national security adviser in the Trump administration, told CBS News on Tuesday that he had heard former President Donald Trump use the phrase "burner phones" in several discussions and the former president knew what it meant.
White House records obtained by CBS News and The Washington Post show Trump did not use his phone for over seven hours on January 6, 2021 during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the House select committee investigating the attack is looking into whether he used a "burner phone," or a personal disposable phone whose contacts could not be traced.
In response, the former president said he had never heard of the phrase "burner phone."
"I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term," Trump said.
But Bolton said he and Trump have spoken about how people have used "burner phones" to avoid having their calls scrutinized.
The White House documents show no calls placed to or by Trump for seven hours and 37 minutes — from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. — on the day when thousands of his supporters descended on the U.S. Capitol, battled police and forcibly entered the building, prompting lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety.
The 11 pages of records — which consist of the president's official daily diary and the White House switchboard call log — were turned over by the National Archives earlier this year to the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack.
The records show that Trump was active on the phone for part of the day, documenting conversations that he had with at least eight people in the morning and 11 people that evening. The gap also stands in stark contrast to the extensive public reporting about phone conversations he had with allies during the period when the attack was underway.
A Trump spokesperson said that Trump had nothing to do with the records and had assumed any and all of his phone calls were recorded and preserved.
Caroline Linton contributed to this report.
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