Trump pleaded with China's Xi for help winning 2020 poll, claims ex-NSA Bolton

Published: Jun 19, 2020, 13:12 IST | Agencies | Washington D.C.

The White House has said the forthcoming book by Bolton is "full of classified information" and the Department of Justice has sought a temporary restraining order blocking its release

China's President Xi Jinping and (right) US President Donald Trump. Pic /AFP
China's President Xi Jinping and (right) US President Donald Trump. Pic /AFP

President Donald Trump virtually pleaded with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at last year's G-20 summit in Japan to help him win the 2020 US presidential election, former US national security adviser John Bolton has claimed in a new book. The White House has said the forthcoming book by Bolton is "full of classified information" and the Department of Justice has sought a temporary restraining order blocking its release. Excerpts from the book, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir", were carried by The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.Published by Simon & Schuster, the book is slated to hit the stores on June 23.

Trump fired Bolton, one of the most hawkish voices in his inner circle, last year after a string of disagreements. "He is a liar," Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, adding that "everybody in the White House hated John Bolton." Trump told Fox News in an interview that Bolton disclosed "highly classified information." "And he did not have approval," the president said. In his book, Bolton also charged that when Xi told Trump last year that China was building concentration camps for the mass detention of Uyghur Muslims, Trump said Xi should go ahead building the camps, "which he thought was exactly the right thing to do."

Bolton claims that Trump sought the Chinese president's help in his reelection during a meeting in Osaka on June 29, 2019 on the sidelines of a G-20 summit. "In their meeting in Osaka on June 29, Xi told Trump that the US-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."

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," he said, according to the excerpts of the book. The White House said Bolton's book which has got a lot of classified information has not been approved for publication. "It's unacceptable. It has not gone through the review process, and that's where we currently stand," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his deputy Stephen Biegun held closed-door talks with the Chinese Communist Party's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu on Wednesday as new revelations about Trump and China rocked Washington.

No reporters were allowed to travel with Pompeo and Biegun, and coverage of the event is expected to be extremely limited.

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