John Bolton: he Room Where It Happened

Trump pleaded with China's president to buy US agricultural products to help him win the 2020 election

Bolton wrote that Trump was "pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win."


US President Donald Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy agricultural products from the US to help Trump win states with large farming industries in the 2020 election. That's according to an upcoming book by the former national security adviser John Bolton, titled "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir."

In an excerpt published on Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, Bolton wrote that Trump was "pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win."

"He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome," Bolton wrote.

He added that "Trump's conversations with Xi reflected not only the incoherence in his trade policy but also the confluence in Trump's mind of his own political interests and U.S. national interests."

"Trump commingled the personal and the national not just on trade questions but across the whole field of national security," the former national security adviser said. "I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn't driven by reelection calculations."

The book offers an inside look at events that took place during Bolton's rocky tenure as Trump's third national security adviser. In particular, it includes new details about what happened in the White House during Trump's efforts to strong-arm Ukraine into delivering political dirt against former Vice President Joe Biden, now the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.

In the book, Bolton accused the House of Representatives of committing "impeachment malpractice" and alleged that the president had engaged in significantly more impeachable conduct than what he was ultimately accused of.

Bolton said the president's actions related to his China policy "formed a pattern of fundamentally unacceptable behavior that eroded the very legitimacy of the presidency."

"Had Democratic impeachment advocates not been so obsessed with their Ukraine blitzkrieg in 2019, had they taken the time to inquire more systematically about Trump's behavior across his entire foreign policy, the impeachment outcome might well have been different," he wrote.

The former national security adviser has attracted significant criticism from Democrats for including these details in his book after refusing to testify in the House's impeachment hearings against Trump last year.

He later agreed to testify before the Republican-controlled Senate if subpoenaed, but the upper chamber voted against calling new witnesses in the president's trial.

Bolton's book is set to be released next Tuesday, and he has already taped an interview with ABC News to promote it.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration sued the former national security adviser to prevent him from releasing the book. The lawsuit accused Bolton of breaking his contract by backing out of the National Security Council's ongoing vetting process to determine whether his book contains classified information that needs to be redacted or edited down.

The NSC "quickly identified significant quantities of classified information that it asked Defendant to remove," the complaint said. "An iterative process between NSC Staff and Defendant then began, as required by the binding agreements he signed, with changes to the book and other information being securely passed between Defendant and NSC staff. Soon, though, Defendant apparently became dissatisfied at the pace of NSC's review."

It alleged that instead of waiting, Bolton "decided to take matters into his own hands."

On June 7, "without Defendant giving any prior notice to the NSC, press reports revealed that Defendant and his publisher had resolved to release the book on June 23, without completing the pre-publication review process," the lawsuit said.

Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to criminally charge John Bolton with disclosing classified information in his upcoming White House memoir, and the Justice Department is expected in coming days to ramp up its legal campaign to block publication of a book that is being billed as a scathing rebuke of President Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department is expected to seek a temporary restraining order from a federal judge as soon as Wednesday that would block Bolton and his publisher, Simon & Schuster, from releasing the memoir as planned on June 23, the people said.

It is not clear how successful such a legal fight would be. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal published a lengthy excerpt of the book. It is also in the hands of journalists who have begun to chronicle its findings in stories.

The Justice Department is under pressure from Trump to block the book's release. On Monday, Trump said that his former national security advisor faced a “criminal problem” if he didn’t halt publication.

Bolton, a conservative foreign policy hawk who served as national security advisor from April 2018 through September 2019, clashed with Trump throughout his tenure.

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