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Trump asked China for help with 2020 election

National Security Adviser John Bolton listens as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, April 9, 2018.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Donald Trump asked China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to help him win the 2020 U.S. presidential election, suggesting that China’s boosted purchases of U.S. agricultural products could get him a second term in the White House, former national security advisor John Bolton reportedly writes in his new book.

The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the forthcoming book, said Bolton wrote that Trump in a one-on-one meeting at the June 2019 Group of 20 summit in Japan with Xi “stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, 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,” Bolton wrote in the book “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” 

The Post also reported that Bolton wrote that Trump at one point said that invading Venezuela would be “cool,” and that that country was “really part of the United States.”

Trump, in a tweet after midnight Thursday, ripped Bolton over the book. 

“A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war. Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped. What a dope!” the president said.

Trump also spoke to The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. “He is a liar,” the president told the newspaper, referring to Bolton. “Everybody in the White House hated John Bolton.”

Bolton himself took to the media to defend himself and launch more attacks against the president. In an interview with ABC News, which will air in full on Sunday night, Bolton said Trump isn’t “fit for office” and that he lacks the “competence to carry out the job.”

The Wall Street Journal published a long excerpt of Bolton’s book on Wednesday, a day after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit that seeks to block the book’s release next week, at least temporarily. The Justice Department late on Wednesday filed an emergency application for a temporary restraining order and a motion for a preliminary injunction against Bolton to prevent the publication of his book, NBC News reported. The motion asks the court to schedule a hearing on Friday, four days before the book is scheduled to be released.

In the excerpt, Bolton wrote, “Trump’s conversations with Xi reflected not only the incoherence in his trade policy but also the confluence in Trump’s mind of his own political interests and U.S. national interests.”

“At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with…

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2020-06-18 11:27:48

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