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