President Donald Trump on Jan. 27 responded to reports about an upcoming book by former national security adviser John Bolton, which reportedly alleges that Trump tied investigations in Ukraine to the release of security aid to the U.S. ally.
“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” Trump wrote.
The New York Times reported on the details from Bolton’s book on Jan. 26 without quoting any of the book’s content. According to the newspaper, Trump told Bolton during a meeting in August 2019 “that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine.”
In the book Bolton also reportedly claims that he warned White House lawyers that Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, may have used his work for the president to help his private clients. Bolton also reportedly brought his concerns about Giuliani to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after Trump’s July 26 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Pompeo disputed Bolton’s account through a spokesperson.
Bolton is willing to testify in the impeachment trial, the book also reportedly says.
The reported details from Bolton’s book add a twist to the Senate trial, which has chugged along without major surprises. The New York Times published its story about the book as Trump’s attorneys prepared to present in a second day of defense arguments. The reported details are sure to prompt Democrats to again push for Bolton’s testimony even as Republicans appear to be poised to vote in favor of calling no further witnesses.
“The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
According to the newspaper, Bolton has distributed drafts of the book to close associates and sent a copy to the White House for review of classified material.
Bolton’s lawyer accused the White House of leaking the details of the book.
Amazon.com opened pre-orders for Bolton’s book with a release date set for March 17. The sales page describes the book as a memoir of Bolton’s 519 days serving as Trump’s national security adviser.
“John Bolton served as National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump for 519 days. A seasoned public servant who had previously worked for Presidents Reagan, Bush #41, and Bush #43, Bolton brought to the administration 30 years of experience in international issues and a reputation for tough, blunt talk. In his memoir, he offers a substantive and factual account of his time in the room where it happened,” the description says.
In addition to commenting on Bolton’s reported allegations, Trump shared a message from Sean Davis, the co-founder of The Federalist.
“John Bolton is running the exact same revenge playbook against Trump that James Comey used,” Davis wrote on Twitter. “He’s even using the same agent and leaking to the same reporters. All because he’s mad Trump fired him for leaking and trying to start new wars. It’s so boring and predictable.”