In a series of bombshell allegations out Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, said that Trump sought Chinese President Xi Jinping's help to win re-election during a closed-door meeting last June.
The accusations are part of a book that the U.S. government this week sued to block Bolton from publishing, arguing it contained classified information and would compromise national security. Bolton was fired in September by Trump after 17 months on the job. Excerpts from "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir" were published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The revelations come just four months after the Republican-controlled Senate voted to acquit Trump on charges brought by the Democratic-led House of Representatives stemming from his dealings with Ukraine. Bolton refused to testify in the House, and in the book, said that Democrats erred in their impeachment proceedings by focusing solely on Ukraine – saying the outcome may have been different had they inquired more broadly into innumerable conversations in which Trump demonstrated "fundamentally unacceptable behavior that eroded the very legitimacy of the presidency,” according to the excerpt in the Journal.
Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment proceedings, tweeted Wednesday that Bolton saved what could have been incriminating testimony against Trump for his book. Schiff tweeting, “Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot.”
Bolton’s allegations provide new ammunition to Trump’s critics as the president seeks reelection this fall, and include behind-the-scenes accounts of Trump's conversations with Xi - which, in one case, the president allegedly broached the topic of the November 3rd election. In an excerpt published in The Wall Street Journal, Bolton writes, "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."
Bolton’s book is scheduled to be published on Tuesday.