Donald Trump says John Bolton made up conversations ‘to sell a book’ after bombshell claims that the president demanded a freeze on military aid to Ukraine unless it launched investigation into Bidens
- John Bolton’s description of his exchange with President Donald Trump appears in drafts of his forthcoming book, according to the New York Times
- Trump reportedly told the then-national security advisor he wanted a freeze on military assistance to Ukraine unless it aided investigations into his rivals
- The revelation challenges the defense offered up by Trump and his attorneys in his Senate impeachment trial
- President Donald Trump sent a series of late-night tweets insisting that Bolton had made the allegations up in order sell his new book
- Bolton has said he is willing to testify before the impeachment trial despite the president’s order barring aides from cooperating in the probe
- But Democrats need at least four Republicans to vote with them to seek witness testimony
President Donald Trump has hit back at John Bolton, after explosive revelations in a leaked copy of the former national security advisor’s new book.
Bolton reportedly claims that he was told by Trump that he wanted to maintain a freeze on military assistance to Ukraine until it aided political investigations into his Democratic rivals, in a leaked copy seen by the New York Times.
But in a series of late-night tweets the president once again denied such arrangements between the U.S. and Ukraine were made.
‘I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,’ the president tweeted.
‘With that being said, the 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,’ he continued.
‘Additionally, I met with President Zelensky at the United Nations…..(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,’ the President wrote in a series of tweets.
National security advisor John Bolton says he’s ‘prepared to testify’ in Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed
Trump reportedly told the then-national security advisor he wanted a freeze on military assistance to Ukraine unless it aided investigations into his rivals
Bolton’s revelations challenge the defense offered up by Trump and his attorneys in his Senate impeachment trial and raises the stakes as the chamber decided this week whether to seek sworn testimony from Bolton and other witnesses.
Bolton, who acrimoniously left the White House a day before Trump ultimately released the Ukraine aid on September 11, has already told lawmakers that he is willing to testify, despite the president’s order barring aides from cooperating in the probe.
Trump´s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who has played a prominent role in the Ukraine affair, replied to a request for comment with a text: ‘I used to like and respect John and tell people they were wrong about how irresponsible he was. I was wrong.’
Democrats need at least four Republicans to vote with them to seek witness testimony. Those prospects looked unlikely in recent days and it’s unclear if the new revelations about Bolton’s book will sway any GOP senators.
Democrats quickly sought to ramp up the pressure on their Republican counterparts.
President Trump sent out a triple set of tweets early on Monday morning in response to allegations made by National security advisor John Bolton the president wanted to maintain a freeze on military assistance to Ukraine until it aided political investigations into his rivals
‘John Bolton has the evidence,’ tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. ‘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.’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had no immediate comment, according to his office.
The Associated Press has not confirmed the content of Bolton’s draft book. A person familiar with the matter told the AP the book had been submitted to the White House for pre-publication review, which is standard for the work of former officials with security clearances. The person insisted on anonymity to discuss the sensitive subject.
The book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, declined to comment.
Democrats accuse Trump of abuse of power in withholding the military assistance to Ukraine to push that country to mount investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden (right) and his son Hunter (left)
President Trump’s defense team began their case for his acquittal on Saturday
Sarah Tinsley, an advisor to Bolton, said: ‘The ambassador’s manuscript was transmitted to the White House in hard copy several weeks ago for pre-publication review by the NSC. The ambassador has not passed the draft manuscript to anyone else. Period.’
Bolton attorney Charles J. Cooper said in a statement that the pre-publication review process had been ‘corrupted and that information has been disclosed by persons other than those properly involved in reviewing the manuscript.’
Democrats accuse Trump of abuse of power in withholding the military assistance to Ukraine to push that country to mount investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukraine gas company, Burisma, while his father was in office.
On Saturday, the president’s attorneys said during their opening day of defense arguments that there was no evidence that Trump made the military aid contingent on the country announcing an investigation into Biden.
The Times also reported that Bolton says he told Attorney General William Barr that he was mentioned by Trump on his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Bolton acrimoniously left the White House a day before Trump ultimately released the Ukraine aid on Sept. 11
Adam Schiff leads the House impeachment managers to the Senate to hear Trump’s defense team
A Justice Department official on Sunday disputed Bolton´s account that he had told Barr about the president´s call with Zelenskiy but did say that Bolton had called Barr to raise concerns about Giuliani´s shadow diplomacy efforts.
Trump on Wednesday told reporters in Davos, Switzerland, that he didn’t want Bolton to testify before the Senate.
‘The problem with John is it’s a national security problem,’ Trump said. ‘He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it´s not very positive and then I have to deal on behalf of the country?’
He added: ‘It’s going to be very hard. It’s going to make the job very hard.’
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