US President Donald Trump. File Photo: IANS
US President Donald Trump. File Photo: IANS

Bolton's new book reveals how Trump asked Xi for help with election

By Shabtai Gold Time of article published Jun 18, 2020

Share this article:

Washington - President Donald Trump asked his Chinese

counterpart to make agricultural purchases in order to help the

US leader win over farmers ahead of the upcoming election, former top

aide John Bolton claims in a new book.

At a meeting, Trump turned to Xi Jinping and "stressed the importance

of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in

the electoral outcome," according to excerpts published in

the Wall Street Journal.

Bolton described this as the "confluence in Trump's mind of his own

political interests and US national interests."

Separately, the New York Times cited the book as saying that there

were other improper actions by Trump involving Turkey's Halkbank - an

open case in US courts - and the Chinese tech company ZTE.

Bolton accused Trump of treating "obstruction of justice as a way of

life," while blasting lawmakers for "impeachment malpractice" for

only focusing on the Ukraine affair in their investigations.

Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, refused to testify

during the House impeachment hearings, making his claim

controversial.

His book is being attacked by Trump loyalists, while liberals see

Bolton as someone who could have aided the impeachment inquiry, but

held out for a book deal instead.

"Bolton's staff were asked to testify before the House to Trump's

abuses, and did. They had a lot to lose and showed real courage,"

said Congressman Adam Schiff, a leading Democratic investigator

during impeachment.

"When Bolton was asked, he refused, and said he'd sue if subpoenaed.

Instead, he saved it for a book," Schiff said. "He's no patriot."

Trump was accused of asking Ukraine for help in digging up dirt on

his rival, the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and

allegedly withheld military aid to pressure Kiev.

Trump was impeached in the Democratic-controlled House but acquitted

by the Senate, where his Republican Party has a majority.

Bolton also alleges Trump encouraged Xi to build internment camps for

Muslim minority groups.

"Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which

Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do," Bolton writes in

the book, dubbing them "concentration camps."

"He's a liar," Trump told the Wall Street Journal, denying giving Xi

approval for camps. "Everybody in the White House hated John Bolton,"

the paper cited the president as adding.

During a Senate hearing on commerce, US Trade Representative Robert

Lighthizer was asked about the claim that Trump asked Xi for help in

Osaka, and the official called story "completely crazy," adding that

he was at the G20 meeting.

"I have no recollection of that ever happening. I don't believe it's

true," Lighthizer said.

As snippets of the book were emerging, the US Department of Justice

filed an emergency application for a temporary restraining order to

block publication, saying it "will damage the national security of

the United States."

A day earlier, the government had sued to stop the upcoming

publication, slated for next week, saying the work is a breach of

Bolton's confidentiality agreements.

The lawsuit says Bolton stands to earn 2 million dollars from the

book deal.

The book also reportedly seeks to show that Trump is ignorant on key

matters of world affairs, such as wondering if Finland is part of

Russia and if Britain had nuclear weapons.

The volume, if published, would be the latest in a long line of

Trump-bashing books in the last four years penned by people once

close to the president, but Bolton is likely the one who had the most

involvement in the inner workings of foreign policy.

Broadcaster ABC is due to air an interview with Bolton on Sunday

night. A brief clip has already been released, in which Bolton blasts

Trump over his handling of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying

the US leader was outfoxed.

dpa

Share this article: