Former US NSA accuses Trump of seeking Chinese Premier’s help for re-election

Bolton had joined the White House in April 2018.

Credit : Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former national security adviser John Bolton stunned the United States of America by accusing President Donald Trump of pleading with Xi Jinping to extend help in win the 2020 presidential election.

Bolton has made this and other claims in his yet-to-be-published book ‘The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir’ The Wall Street Journal is its publisher. Bolton had joined the White House in April 2018. He said he quit in September 2019. However, Trump said he had sacked Bolton as the latter disagreed “strongly” with him.

The allegations follow the impeachment motion against President Trump in January this year. The motion was moved for a similar accusation saying Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressurise its President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation against Biden and his son Hunter for corruption.

Later, the US president was acquitted by the Senate in February, where the Republicans outnumber the Democrats.

Bolton’s book describes a meeting between Trump and Xi during the G20 summit in 2019 in Osaka, Japan as “Trump … stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win.”

The book says that Trump, 'stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome,' adding that he 'would print Trump's exact words, but the government's prepublication review process has decided otherwise.'

A BBC report said the US Justice Department moved the court against Bolton on Tuesday. It sought to stop the book publication saying it violated a non-disclosure agreement Bolton had signed before assuming office in 2018.

The White House's legal move has could not stop excerpts from Bolton's book from becoming public as media outlets reported Wednesday that they had already got its copies. It is scheduled for release next week.

Bolton has alleged that Trump lauded Xi’s efforts to build detention camps for the Uighur Muslims, “which he (Trump) thought was exactly the right thing to do.”

Bolton said Trump “proposed that for the remaining $350 billion of trade imbalances (by Trump's arithmetic), the US would not impose tariffs, but he again returned to importuning Xi to buy as many American farm products as China could.”

Reacting to Bolton’s revelation in the book, Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, "He is a liar," and said, “Everybody in the White House hated John Bolton.”



The allegations levelled against Trump would reverberate across Washington. The accusations have been made at a time when the Trump has made China a central issue in his campaign ahead of the 2020 presidential poll, portraying the President being tougher against China than Biden.

“This may undermine one of the strong points of Trump’s campaign and his critiques of China over the past few months, which have been an effective approach,” said Marquette Law School, Wisconsin law and public policy professor and its polling operation director Charles Franklin. “In the middle of a campaign, plenty of people on the Democratic side are probably cutting commercials today,” he said.

The book gives a detailed account of Trump's interactions with Xi. The book says Xi showed keenness to reopen trade talks at the G-20 summit. Trump praised him as the greatest in China’s history. Bolton describes Trump's interactions with Xi as “adlibbed”, amounting to personal flattery and motivated by political ambition rather than policy. "I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn't driven by re-election calculations," Bolton writes.



During an interview with ABC News, Bolton said Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks he could manipulate “Trump like a fiddle”. "I think Putin is smart, tough. I think he sees that he's not faced with a serious adversary here. I don't think he's worried about Donald Trump," Bolton said. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could also play Trump, the book says.

Bolton devotes space to his disagreements with Trump on North Korea pre and post the Singapore summit with Kim, which the writer hoped to “collapse” before it took place. "The whole diplomatic fandango was South Korea's creation," says Bolton. "It related more to its 'unification' agenda than serious strategy on Kim's part or ours." Bolton writes that "Trump was desperate to have the meeting at any price," ignoring his advisers' opinions. The State Department did not reply to CNN’s request to comment on Bolton's claim.

Bolton claims Trump repeatedly sought military action against Venezuela, which shocked officials. Bolton says Trump wanted to help Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with regard to a Justice Department investigation into a Turkish bank in 2018 that had ties to Erdogan, who was being investigated for violating US Iran sanctions. The final chapter describes the Ukraine matter, in which Bolton was privy to key meetings, including those cited by other witnesses during the impeachment proceedings. However, Bolton accuses what no impeachment witness did: he directly heard Trump tie withholding US security aid to an inquiry against Biden.

"The next morning, August 20, I took Trump's temperature on the Ukraine security assistance, and he said he wasn't in favour of sending them anything until all the Russia-investigation materials related to Clinton and Biden had been turned over," Bolton writes.

On the impeachment, he says, "Whether Trump's conduct rose to the level of an impeachable offence, I had found it deeply disturbing, which is why I had reported it to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and his staff and Attorney General Bill Barr, and why Pompeo, Mnuchin, and I had worried over it in our own conversations." Bolton says his testifying would have made "no significant difference" to its outcome.

Bolton alleges Trump for being lenient towards Chinese telecom firm Huawei Technologies and ZTE, which was done “not as a policy issue to be resolved but as an opportunity to make personal gestures to Xi”. According to SCMP, Simon & Schuster, the book’s publisher, issued a statement saying: "Tonight's filing by the government is a frivolous, politically motivated exercise in futility." Commenting on the development, Joe Biden said, "If these accounts are true, it's not only morally repugnant, it's a violation of Donald Trump's sacred duty to the American people."