Former National Security Adviser John Bolton claims In his upcoming memoir that President Trump asked China’s Xi Jinping during a summit last year to help his reelection prospects by purchasing more American farm products.
During a meeting in Japan, Bolton wrote, President Xi noted that certain unidentified US politicians were calling for a new cold war with China, to which Trump reportedly “said approvingly that there was great hostility to China among the Democrats,” according to advance excerpts of the book obtained by the Associated Press and other media outlets
“Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton wrote.
“He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”
In “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” Bolton also says say he notified Attorney General William Barr and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone about several instances when Trump allegedly expressed a willingness to block probes of such firms as the Chinese telecom ZTE and Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, according to the New York Times, which also obtained an advance copy of the book.
“The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,” Bolton wrote.
If Democrats had expanded their impeachment case beyond allegations surrounding the withholding of about $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, Bolton wrote, “there might have been a greater chance to persuade others that ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had been perpetrated.”
The Justice Department filed suit Tuesday to try to block publication of the book, which is is set to be released Tuesday by Simon & Schuster, on grounds that it contains classified information.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also warned Wednesday that national security was at risk if Bolton’s tell-all gets published before “the review processes have been completed.”
Other details from the book revealed by the Times and Washington Post include Bolton’s claims that:
- Trump’s ignorance of foreign affairs included not knowing that Britain has nuclear weapons, and once asking if Finland was part of Russia.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slipped Bolton a note during Trump’s 2018 meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un that said of the president, “He’s so full of s–t,” and later said the unprecedented negotiations had “zero probability of success.”
- Trump pressed Pompeo to deliver an autographed copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on CD to Kim during the secretary’s follow-up visit to North Korea.
- Trump told Bolton that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used obscene, sexist language to refer to then-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, which Bolton doubted but found revealing about the president.
- Trump’s intelligence briefings were a waste of time because “much of the time was spent listening to Trump, rather than Trump listening to the briefers.”
- Trump came closer to pulling the US out of NATO than the public knows.
- Trump explicitly linked the Ukrainian aid to investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, and Bolton, Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper tried eight to 10 times to get Trump to release the aid.
The book also asserts that Trump made so many false or wrong statements in Bolton’s presence that quotes attributed to him are followed by disclaimers such as “(the opposite of the truth)” and that while his snap judgments sometimes mirrored Bolton’s views, others were reckless and risky.
“His thinking was like an archipelago of dots (like individual real estate deals), leaving the rest of us to discern — or create — policy,” Bolton wrote.
“That had its pros and cons.”
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