Trump sought Xi’s help with re-election, John Bolton’s book claims

Trump sought Xi's help with re-election, John Bolton's book claims
tried to get China's Xi Jinping to help him secure re-election.
5 Min Read

Daily US Times: Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book says the President tried to get China’s Xi Jinping to help him secure re-election.

According to details of the forthcoming book, Mr Bolton says Mr Trump wanted China to buy agricultural produce from US farmers.

He also says President Trump “remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House”. The Trump administration is trying to block the book from being published.

The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to prevent the book. The book contains “classified information”, according to the complaint.

Can publication be prevented?

John Bolton’s book, titled ”The Room Where It Happened”, is due to go on sale on 23 June.

But on Wednesday night, Trump administration sought an emergency order from a judge to stop the book’s release.

The publisher of the book described the move as ”politically motivated.

In a statement, Simon & Schuster said: “Tonight’s filing by the government is a frivolous, politically motivated exercise in futility.”

The statement said, hundreds of thousands of copies of the book have already been distributed around the world and the injunction would accomplish nothing.

“He [John Bolton] broke the law. This is highly classified information and he did not have approval,” Mr Trump said about the publication of the book.

He added: “He was a washed up guy. I gave him a chance.”

The move against the book comes a day after President Donald Trump said Mr Bolton could face “criminal problems” if the publishes the book.

Mr Trump told reporters on Monday: “I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified. So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he’s broken the law and I would think he would have criminal problems.”

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton alleges in his book that US President Donald Trump supported China’s building of camps for Uighur Muslims. Source: Reuters

But the American Civil Liberties Union, a non-profit organization, said that “any Trump administration efforts to stop John Bolton’s book from being published are doomed to fail”.

Charles Cooper, Mr Bolton’s lawyer, said they were looking through the lawsuit and “will respond in due course”.

The White House said in January that the book contained “top secret” details that must be removed, although John Bolton rejected the claim.

Mr Bolton joined the White House in April 2018 and left in September the following year.

His leaving from White House created confusion as he said that he had decided to quit as national security adviser but President Trump said he had fired Mr Bolton because he disagreed “strongly” with him.

What does Bolton allege about the meeting with Xi?

The allegations refer to a meeting between President Xi and President Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June last year.

New York Times published an extract from the book, where Mr Bolton writes, the Chinese president had complained that some US critics of China were calling for a new cold war.

Mr Trump assumed Mr Xi was referring to his Democratic opponents, according to Bolton.

He said: “Trump, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election [in 2020], alluding to China’s economic capability and 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.”

When Mr Xi agreed to make discussions on farm products a priority in trade talks, Mr Trump called him “the greatest leader in Chinese history”.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer disputed Mr Bolton’s account while peaking on Wednesday evening, saying the request for help with re-election “never happened”.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Source: Reuters

Mr Bolton also mentions an earlier conversation between the two leaders at the summit’s opening dinner, in which they discussed the building of camps in China’s western Xinjiang region.

The US President said the construction should go ahead as it was “exactly the right thing to do”.

China has detained about a million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the camps for punishment and indoctrination, which caused huge international condemnation. Trump administration has been publicly critical of China’s treatment of Muslim minority group Uighurs. On Wednesday the president signed legislation authorising US sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for the repression of Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Joe Biden, Mr Trump’s Democratic challenger in this November’s election, said in a statement about the book: “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.”