Mr. Bolton’s lawyer turned the manuscript over to the National Security Council in late December for a review of classified information. The NSC has said no one outside of the NSC reviewed the book.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone was alerted when the NSC received the book last year, according to people familiar with the matter. But he was not briefed on its contents and first learned of it when the New York Times contacted the White House before it published a story about the manuscript on Sunday, one of the people said.