President Trump “pleaded” with China’s Xi Jinping during a summit last year to help his reelection prospects, according to a new book by former Trump adviser John Bolton.
The book, titled, The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir, is set to be released next Tuesday, barring any last minute legal issues.
It accuses the commander-in-chief of making national security decisions based on political advantage.
The White House has been working to block the book’s release in recent days.
Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser for 17 months, writes, “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations.”
He adds that the president “saw conspiracies behind rocks, and remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House, let alone the huge federal government.”
In terms of the 2019 meeting with Xi, the book states that Trump “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” Bolton goes on to claim that the president “stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in an effort to delay the book’s release, claiming that it contains highly classified information, and that a required review by the National Security Council has not been concluded.
Bolton also writes that, due to the review process, he made “numerous changes to the manuscript in order to obtain clearance to publish, the vast bulk of which, in my view, did not change the facts set forth.”
For more information about my upcoming book release, please review the link below. https://t.co/nx7DHTdQ2T
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) June 14, 2020
He goes on to explain that in some cases, he was asked to add phrases such as, “in my view,” in order to make it clear that he was expressing his opinion.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday that he attended a meeting between Trump and Xi at the Group of 20 nations in Osaka last year, and he never heard Trump pleading with Xi to buy more agriculture products in order to ensure he would win reelection. Lighthizer made the comments during a Senate hearing on trade issues at which he was asked about Bolton’s recollection of events.
“Absolutely untrue. Never happened. I was there. I have no recollection of that ever happening. I don’t believe it’s true. I don’t believe it ever happened,” Lighthizer said. “Would I recollect something as crazy as that? Of course, I would recollect it.”
Bolton also writes that he raised his concerns about Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders with Attorney General William Barr.
Meanwhile, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec denied in a statement that Barr had ever expressed that the president’s conversations with foreign leaders were improper.
Bolton was called to testify before House lawmakers conducting last year’s impeachment inquiry against the president, but declined, explaining that he wanted a federal court to decide whether he should follow a White House directive that he not cooperate with the inquiry.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says the book is “full of classified information, which is inexcusable.”