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1st Bolton Book Excerpt: Trump Ignored China's Human Rights Record, Begged Xi to Aid Reelection

1st Bolton Book Excerpt: Trump Ignored China's Human Rights Record, Begged Xi to Aid Reelection
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office in August 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 June 2020 03:42 PM

In his new book, former national security adviser John Bolton claims President Donald Trump begged Chinese leader Xi Jinping for help winning reelection, struggled to come up with a solid trade policy and disregarded China's human rights violations.

"In their meeting in Osaka on June 29, Xi told Trump that the U.S.-China relationship was the most important in the world. He said that some (unnamed) American political figures were making erroneous judgments by calling for a new cold war with China," Bolton wrote.

"Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, 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. I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise."

The excerpt from the tell-all, due out June 23 after extensivc delays and intensive review, was detailed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Bolton discusses the whole book in an interview with ABC News that will air Sunday, while he is also set to sit down with talk-show host Stephen Colbert next week.

How Bolton said Trump handled coming up with a China trade policy:

"After I became Trump’s national security adviser in April 2018, I had the most futile role of all: I wanted to fit China trade policy into a broader strategic framework. We had a good slogan, calling for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” region. But a bumper sticker is not a strategy, and we struggled to avoid being sucked into the black hole of U.S.-China trade issues." 

Bolton continued, "Trade matters were handled from day one in a completely chaotic way. Trump’s favorite way to proceed was to get small armies of people together, either in the Oval Office or the Roosevelt Room, to argue out these complex, controversial issues. Over and over again, the same issues. Without resolution, or even worse, one outcome one day and a contrary outcome a few days later. The whole thing made my head hurt."

In regard to Trump's response to human rights violation in China, Bolton said:

"I first heard Trump react on June 12, upon hearing that some 1.5 million people had been at Sunday’s demonstrations. 'That’s a big deal,' he said. But he immediately added, 'I don’t want to get involved,' and, 'We have human-rights problems too.'

"I hoped Trump would see these Hong Kong developments as giving him leverage over China. I should have known better. That same month, on the 30th anniversary of China’s massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Trump refused to issue a White House statement. “That was 15 years ago,” he said, inaccurately. “Who cares about it? I’m trying to make a deal. I don’t want anything.” And that was that."

The Trump administration sued former national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday to stop the publication of a book that the White House says contains classified information.

The civil lawsuit in Washington's federal court follows warnings from President Donald Trump that Bolton could face a “criminal problem" if he doesn't halt plans to publish the book, which is scheduled for release next week. The administration contends that the former adviser did not complete a pre-publication review to ensure that the manuscript did not contain classified material.

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In his new book, former national security adviser John Bolton claims President Donald Trump begged Chinese leader Xi Jinping for help winning reelection, struggled to come up with a solid trade policy and disregarded China's human rights violations. "In their meeting in...
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Wednesday, 17 June 2020 03:42 PM
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