On Sunday the New York Times published an article claiming that, based on an as-yet unpublished book manuscript by former national security adviser John Bolton, “President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”
Trump returned serve on Twitter, rebutting Bolton’s reported claims. He wrote he “NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens.” He also said Bolton was simply trying “to sell a book.”
…transcripts of my calls with President Zelensky are all the proof that is needed, in addition to the fact that President Zelensky & the Foreign Minister of Ukraine said there was no pressure and no problems. Additionally, I met with President Zelensky at the United Nations…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020
…(Democrats said I never met) and released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations – and far ahead of schedule. I also allowed Ukraine to purchase Javelin anti-tank missiles. My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020
The resulting uproar over the newspaper’s report has almost as much to do with the fact that the book manuscript leaked to the Times from the National Security Council’s (NSC’s) review process of pending manuscripts, as the content of the revelations revealed in the Times report. According to the paper, Bolton shared copies of the manuscript with “close associates,” implying that was how they obtained a copy.
Others, including Trump, clearly believe that based on the timing of the article that the Times article is free promotional publicity for amping up book sales. Tellingly, Amazon also opened up pre-orders for Bolton’s book on Sunday, so circumstantial evidence suggests Bolton sold his soul for a few pieces of silver.
Amazing how this happened immediately after The New York Times ran their story, almost like it was coordinated to promote book sales!
This tweet from Stelter was posted 25 minutes ago: pic.twitter.com/PXxWOyLJQu
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 27, 2020
However, Bolton’s team pointed the finger at a “corrupted” NSC review process that is prone to leaks. Bolton attorney Chuck Cooper’s statement was circulating on Twitter …
BREAKING: Statement from Bolton’s lawyer Chuck Cooper. Story TK. pic.twitter.com/u3JOV7l5dD
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 27, 2020
An NSC pre-publication review is standard procedure for any former government officials with security clearances who publicly write or speak publicly about their official work. Classified or sensitive material would normally be sifted out in the review before publication.
Many believe the Bolton book is about revenge …
John Bolton is running the exact same revenge playbook against Trump that James Comey used. He’s even using the same agent and leaking to the same reporters. All because he’s mad Trump fired him for leaking and trying to start new wars. It’s so boring and predictable.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 27, 2020
Democrats Want Bolton to Testify
House impeachment managers wasted no time reacting to the Times article as they issued a statement claiming, “There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense and therefore must be called as a witness at the impeachment trial of President Trump.”
New Stmt from House Impeachment Managers: “There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense and therefore must be called as a witness at the impeachment trial of President Trump.” pic.twitter.com/nVJ9B0xl9U
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 27, 2020
WORTH NOTING: The House managers in their statement tonight requested not just Bolton but his “notes” and other docs.
Bolton was a notoriously prolific note-taker and would likely have documented his interactions with the president (particularly if they’re now in a book draft.)
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) January 27, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer jumped on the “Bolton must testify” bus as well …
John Bolton has the evidence.
It’s up to four Senate Republicans to ensure that John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and the others with direct knowledge of President Trump’s actions testify in the Senate trial.https://t.co/JbazBaYdRU
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 26, 2020
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