According to a book written by former National Security Advisor John Bolton, set to be made public next week, President Donald Trump sought the help of China’s President Xi Jinping to benefit politically in this year’s presidential race.
Bolton makes the startling allegations in his book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir. The alleged interaction between Xi and Trump took place at the Group of 20 Summit last year.
As Bolton tells it, Xi had complained to Trump about critics of China in the U.S. Trump, however, thought Xi was talking about a more specific group of people: Democrats. That’s when the U.S. president tried to capitalize, according to Bolton.
Trump “then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” the former national security advisor asserted in his book. “He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”
Bolton then explains that he was unable to print Trump’s exact words in the conversation because “the government’s prepublication review process” wouldn’t allow him to do so. But saying so also implies that Bolton knows, word-for-word, how exactly the president had implored Xi to help him in the 2020 presidential race.
Though the book is set to be released soon, it may face legal problems in the next few days or so. Trump’s legal team is reportedly attempting to either block the book from being sold at all, or, failing that, receiving monetary compensation from its sales.
Bolton’s assertions could have likely contributed to the case made against the president last year and earlier this year, when Democrats in Congress tried to impeach him over what appeared to be an attempt to get leaders from Ukraine to investigate his 2020 presidential election rival, Democrat Joe Biden. House impeachment managers alleged that Trump refused to allow aid to go to Kiev unless President Volodymyr Zelensky announced an inquiry into Biden and his son’s dealings with Ukraine.
Leaks from Bolton’s book in February seemed to verify the allegations being made by Democrats.
Bolton, however, refused to voluntarily testify and vowed to fight any subpoena attempts from Democrats to speak on the matter during the entirety of the impeachment process, which began last fall. After the impeachment trial ended in February, resulting in Trump’s acquittal from a Republican-majority Senate, Bolton also claimed that his testimony wouldn’t have helped any.
“I would bet you a dollar right here and now, my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome,” he said at the time.
Bolton’s book appears to make many other scandalous claims. The former national security adviser described Trump as “erratic” and “stunningly uninformed” on foreign policy issues.
For example, Bolton claimed that Trump didn’t know the United Kingdom was a nuclear power. He also asked advisers whether Finland was a part of Russia or not.
Bolton wasn’t the only person who questioned Trump’s intelligence. According to the book, current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo handed Bolton a note during a 2018 summit between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. “He is so full of shit,” Pompeo’s message allegedly read.
There are additional statements in the book that suggest Trump sought to halt criminal investigations involving companies from other countries, including China and Turkey, to “give personal favors to dictators he liked.”
Bolton also says in his book that Trump advised Xi to continue engaging in human rights abuses, including constructing concentration camps for the Uyghurs, a primarily Muslim ethnic group from Northwestern China.
“According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do,” Bolton wrote.