In a stunning accusation against his ex-boss, former US National Security Adviser John Bolton has claimed in his new book that President Donald Trump personally asked his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 presidential election, CNN reported.
According to an excerpt from his upcoming memoir published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, during one notable interaction between Trump and Xi at the G-20 Summit in Osaka last June, the US President "stunningly" turned the conversation to the upcoming 2020 election.Bolton went on narrating in the book that Trump had "stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome," adding that he "would print Trump's exact words, but the government's prepublication review process has decided otherwise."
The former NSA also said the conversation turned back to the trade deal, and Trump "proposed that for the remaining USD350 billion of trade imbalances (by Trump's arithmetic), the US would not impose tariffs, but he again returned to importuning Xi to buy as many American farm products as China could."
The book, 'The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir', is due to be published on June 23, but the Trump administration has sued to block its distribution, claiming that it contains classified information and would compromise national security.
Publication of the book "would cause irreparable harm, because the disclosure of instances of classified information in the manuscript reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage, or exceptionally grave damage, to the national security of the United States," according to the lawsuit.
The claims come as the Trump campaign has tried to make China a central issue of the 2020 election, framing the President as tougher on Beijing than Biden.
According to the excerpt published in the Journal, in the same meeting with Xi, the Chinese leader defended the building of camps holding up to a million Uighur Muslims. "According to our interpreter," Bolton wrote, "Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do," the media reported.
Bolton resigned in September 2019 after roughly 17 months as national security adviser. Trump, however, claims he fired him after the two clashed over policy towards North Korea, Iran, Ukraine and the Taliban in Afghstan.
( With inputs from ANI )