John Bolton: Trump asked Chinese President Xi for help winning 2020 election

7 months ago 47
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June 17 (UPI) -- Former national security adviser John Bolton said in his upcoming book that President Donald Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 presidential election.

An excerpt from Bolton's memoir about his time serving in the Trump administration, published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, said Trump brought up China's economic capability, "pleading with Xi" to ensure he would win the upcoming election during a meeting in Osaka during the G20 Summit last June.

"He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome," Bolton wrote. "I would print Trump's exact words, but the government prepublication review process has decided otherwise."

Trump then returned the conversation to trade negotiations proposing that the United States would not impose tariffs on the remaining trade imbalances between the two countries before returning to "importuning Xi to buy as many American farm products as China could," Bolton said.

Bolton also described a conversation between Trump and Xi during which the Chinese president said he wanted to work with Trump for six more years and "Trump replied that people were saying that the two-term constitutional limit on presidents should be repealed for him."

During another conversation, Bolton said Trump defended China's construction of camps to house the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.

"According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the thing to do," Bolton said. "The National Security Council's top Asia staffer, Matthew Pottinger, told me that Trump said something very similar during his November 2017 trip to China."

Bolton further accused Trump of commingling personal and national interests "across the whole field of national security."

"I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn't driven by re-election calculations," Bolton said.

Bolton also suggested that the outcome of Trump's impeachment trial to start the year may have ended differently had Congress sought out information about his dealings with China.

"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 said.

Bolton said he would testify in Trump's impeachment proceedings if subpoenaed but never appeared before Congress during the process. A report by The New York Times in January said that Bolton acknowledged in his upcoming book that there was a connection between Trump's withholding aid to Ukraine last year in exchange for investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who was the lead impeachment manager, responded to Bolton's essay saying he "may be an author, but he's no patriot."

"Bolton's staff were asked to testify before the House to Trump's abuses and did. They had a lot to lose and showed real courage," Schiff wrote on Twitter. "When Bolton was asked, he refused and said he'd sue if subpoenaed. Instead, he saved it for a book."

On Tuesday, the White House asked a federal judge to block the publication of Bolton's book, scheduled for June 23, stating that it contained classified information.

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