Trump supported Uighur crackdown, pleaded China to help him: John Bolton

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 18, 2020

John Bolton   -  REUTERS

United States President Donald Trump’s former advisor John Bolton, in a controversial book, revealed that Trump “pleaded” China’s President Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 election, Associated Press reported.

He also accused Trump of being motivated by political interests while making national security decisions.

According to the AP report, the White House went great beyond to block the book. It asked the court for a temporary restraining order on Wednesday against its release.

Bolton alleged that Trump sought China’s intervention while attempting to solicit Ukraine’s help, which later led to his impeachment last year.

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations,” Bolton wrote.

The 577-page book laid bare the Trump administration. It is the most vivid first-person account of Trump and his conduct.

Other books that have been published by experts and former authorities mostly revolve around the efficiency of Trump’s administration. Some said that they were saving their experience for later when Trump would leave the office.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of Bolton’s book in advance of its release next week.

Bolton said there were frequent conversations that he found concerning. He added that Congress should have expanded the scope of its impeachment inquiry in view of other incidents.

Bolton criticized the administration vehemently and wrote that because staff had served him so poorly, Trump “saw conspiracies behind rocks, and remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House, let alone the huge federal government.”

He added that while he was at the White House, Trump typically had only two intelligence briefings a week “and in most of those, he spoke at greater length than the briefers, often on matters completely unrelated to the subjects at hand.”

As for the meeting with the Chinese president in Osaka, Japan, Bolton wrote that Trump told Xi that Democrats were hostile to China.

The book, titled “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” is set to be released Tuesday by Simon & Schuster. It has been the subject of a lengthy battle between Bolton and the White House.

The Justice Department filed suit Tuesday to delay publication of the book, claiming it still contained highly classified information and that a required review by the National Security Council had not been concluded, AP report added.

Bolton wrote that, due to the review process, he made “numerous changes to the manuscript to obtain clearance to publish, the vast bulk of which, in my view, did not change the facts set forth,” AP report stated.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday that he was present during the meeting of Trump and Xi at the Group of 20 nations in Osaka. However, he never heard what Bolton claimed in his book.

“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 as quoted in the AP report. “Would I recollect something as crazy as that? Of course, I would recollect it.”

Bolton claimed that Trump, in a discreet meeting, extended support to Xi’s crackdown on Uighurs Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province.

“At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting, with only interpreters present, Xi explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang,” Bolton wrote.

“According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which he thought was exactly the right thing to do. “

In advance of the public reports about the details, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the book was “full of classified information, which is inexcusable.”

Published on June 18, 2020

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