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What Bolton wrote about in his memoirs, and why the White House is trying to ban their publication

The yet-unpublished book of former US National Security Advisor to the US President John Bolton has seriously upset the White House. The ex-adviser may be charged with criminal charges, the administration also requires that the book does not have to be printed in stores, writes Air force.

Photo: Shutterstock

Several American media outlets immediately reported on the evening of June 17 that a federal court in Washington could bring criminal charges against the former adviser to the US president for disclosing state secrets. The Department of Justice also went to court, demanding that the publishing house Simon & Schuster and Bolton himself suspend the publication of the memoirs of the former official.

The day before, on June 16, the Department of Justice filed a formal legal action, stating that the release of Bolton's book The Room Where It All Happened: A Memoir from the White House should be postponed, and the manuscript should undergo additional verification due to suspicions that the text contains information. constituting a state secret.

The lawsuit says that Bolton, in his "more than 500 pages book, ... full of classified information," grossly violated his signed pledge of confidentiality. According to the Department of Justice, the manuscript can only be published after its content is further reviewed by the US National Security Council.

Bolton reviewed the text of his book with the National Security Council. Around April 27, they came to the conclusion that all the classified information had been removed from it, the administration said in a statement of claim. However, in early May, a higher-ranking member of the Council deemed it necessary to begin an “additional check”, as a result of which he found that classified information still remained in it. The functionary's name is Michael Ellis, and he is a political appointee and a former aide to Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, known for his loyalty to Trump.

Nevertheless, already on June 17, three American publications (the New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal) immediately received copies of scandalous memoirs and published their own account of the book of the ex-adviser.

What John Bolton remembered

Bolton served as adviser to the President of the United States on national security from April 2018 to September 2019, but, as it turned out, records and memoirs about this period were enough for him for 592 pages of memoirs.

According to Bolton, the US president did not know that Britain had nuclear weapons, and during a meeting with then-Prime Minister Theresa May asked in surprise, "Oh, are you a nuclear power?" He also asked John Kelly, who was then the head of the White House administration, whether Finland is part of Russia.

The President of the United States asked about the nationality of Finland in the summer of 2018, on the eve of the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Following the talks, Trump said that speaking of Russian interference in the US election, he believes more in the president of the Russian Federation than in his own intelligence services.

“It seems that Putin laughed very loudly, assessing what he was able to achieve in Helsinki,” writes Bolton.

On the subject: US presidential election: Trump and Biden ratings have changed dramatically

According to the ex-adviser, in one of his conversations with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Trump suggested that Russia should be exclusively engaged in the fight against Islamic State militants.

During another episode describing a telephone conversation between US and Russian presidents, Bolton recalled how Putin compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"It was a great example of Soviet-style propaganda," Bolton said, adding that "Putin's reasoning mostly convinced Trump."

Who else does the ex-adviser mention

Bolton recalls Trump's several meetings with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

During one of these conversations, the US president supported the colleague’s idea of ​​building correctional camps in the Xinjiang region, populated by Uighurs and Muslims of other ethnic groups. During yet another negotiation, during the G20 meeting in June 2019, Trump directly asked the Chinese leader to help him win the U.S. presidential election.

After Xi complained that China was too often criticized in the United States, the head of the White House said that representatives of the Democratic Party were to blame.

“After that, quite unexpectedly, he turned the conversation to the upcoming US elections, emphasizing that China's economic opportunities could affect the election campaign, and asked Xi to help him win,” says Bolton in his book. "He highlighted the important role of farmers and the impact that increased purchases of soybeans and wheat from China could have on the election outcome."

The former adviser describes the head of the White House as “strange” and “shockingly ignorant”, arguing that foreign leaders tried to use these qualities of Trump.

For example, during a meeting in May 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan handed over to Trump a note stating the innocence of one of the Turkish firms, against which the prosecutor's office of the Southern District of New York was investigating because of the violation of “Iranian sanctions”.

“After that, Trump told Erdogan that he would take care of it,” Bolton writes. "He explained that the Southern District prosecutors are not his people, that they were appointed by Obama, but the problem will be solved when they are replaced by his people."

The book mentions several more episodes, which Bolton himself called "disturbing." For example, during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump unexpectedly spoke about Pearl Harbor.

And in yet another negotiation with Xi Jinping, Trump announced that the Americans are asking him to stay on as president for more than two terms.

Before meeting with the head of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, Trump decided to inundate him with “American gifts,” including goods subject to US sanctions. After a meeting with the North Korean leader, he instructed the US Secretary of State during a visit to Pyongyang to personally hand Kim a copy of Elton John's Rocket Man CD, signed by the singer. Trump called the head of the DPRK on his Twitter "Rocket Man" during the aggravation of relations, however, after some warming, he began to try to convince others that this was not an insult, but, on the contrary, an expression of the warmth of his feelings. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was never able to hand over the gift.

On the eve of the NATO summit in the summer of 2018, the head of the White House announced the readiness of the United States to finally withdraw from the alliance if European countries do not increase funding for the military-political union in six months.

“We’ll just leave and we won’t defend those who don’t pay,” says a statement that Trump personally dictated to Bolton.

The adviser, in his own words, tried to convince the president, but he only briefly objected: "Do you want to do something historic?"

What Bolton thinks about Ukrainegate

During the Congressional impeachment hearing, John Bolton refused to testify in the House of Representatives, although Democrats tried several times to call him.

In his book, he criticizes the Democrats, arguing that the whole process of impeachment was built incorrectly and Trump should have left his post not because of the scandal connected with Ukraine, but because of the totality of foreign policy decisions.

The ex-adviser confirms that the US president really genuinely believed that the Ukrainian authorities were acting against him, and believed in conspiracy theories that his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other advisers had circulated.

At the same time, Bolton emphasizes that the decision to freeze military assistance to Kiev in order to put pressure on the newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky "extremely upset him," and he was forced to file a complaint with the head of the Department of Justice and the White House legal adviser.

“I thought this whole situation was an example of bad politics, raising questions from a legal point of view and unacceptable from the point of view of the president's behavior,” the author writes.

On the subject: 'Heartbreaking and Obscene Stories': Trump's niece wrote a book about the president

What do they think about Trump in the White House

According to Bolton in his memoirs, intrigues flourish in the White House, and relations between presidential advisers are far from friendly. At the same time, however, analyzing in detail the actions of former colleagues, the ex-adviser prefers not to mention his own mistakes and miscalculations in a word.

In his opinion, almost all Trump's decisions during the presidency were dictated by the desire to be re-elected for a second term, and all his actions were perceived by his own subordinates with a fair amount of skepticism.

“Given how he makes decisions, what if we face a real crisis like 11/XNUMX?” - the ex-adviser quotes the words of the then head of administration John Kelly.

Bolton writes that immediately after his arrival at the White House, the same General Kelly considered it necessary to warn him.

“You have no idea how I want to leave this place,” the words of the general are quoted in the book. "You will soon realize that this is a bad place to work."

“He [the president - BBC] is retroactively changing his mind about people, seeing a conspiracy under every stone, and is still surprisingly ignorant of how to run the White House, let alone a huge federal government,” says Bolton. ...

Mentioning Trump’s talks with Kim Jong-un, the ex-adviser recalls that during a conversation between the two leaders, Secretary of State Pompeo handed him a short note.

“What an idiot,” the head of the diplomatic department allegedly wrote, commenting on the words of the US President.

Bolton argues that the behavior of the head of the White House will not change. According to him, during briefings on intelligence and national security, the president spoke more himself, and did not listen to the views of experts.

“It was useless,” John Bolton laments in his memoirs.

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In the U.S. Donald Trump White House John Bolton
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