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John Bolton's Book Shows Anew Just How Bad Trump Is

Donald Trump and John Bolton

The former national security adviser provides fresh evidence that Trump loves dictators, hates journalists, and knows little about foreign affairs.

It's well known that Donald Trump loves authoritarian leaders and is dangerously erratic and uninformed, but former National Security Adviser John Bolton's new book provides even more evidence of these aspects of the president, and it's damning.

In The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, Bolton says Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him get reelected, praised China's internment camps for Muslims, and endorsed executing journalists. And there's much, much more.

The revelations come from major media outlets that have obtained advance copies of Bolton's book, including The Washington Post and The New York Times. The book is scheduled to be released next week, although the Trump administration has sued in an attempt to stop its publication.

In a meeting with Xi last year, Trump said China should buy more U.S. agricultural products to increase support for his reelection in farm states, according to Bolton. While discussing criticism of China within the U.S., Trump "stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win," Bolton writes. "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."

As Xi defended China's construction of camps to house Uighurs, an ethnic minority who are largely Muslim, Trump offered his support, Bolton says. "According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do," the author writes.

On journalists, a frequent target of Trump's, the president said last year they should be jailed so they can be forced to reveal their sources. "These people should be executed. They are scumbags," he said in a meeting in New Jersey, Bolton reports.

Trump has demonstrated ignorance and corruption in a variety of foreign policy matters. He once said it would be "cool" to invade Venezuela, which has been the site of political power struggles for the past few years, and he asserted that the country is "really part of the United States," according to the book. He wondered aloud if Finland was part of Russia, confused the current and former prime ministers of Afghanistan, and didn't realize the U.K. had nuclear weapons, Bolton writes.

Other members of Trump's administration didn't think much of his courting of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, saying it wouldn't affect anything in North Korea or in its relations with the U.S. But Trump was obsessed with giving Kim gifts, including a CD featuring Elton John's song "Rocket Man" (it's a track on the 1972 album Honky Chateau) and signed by the gay artist, Bolton reports. Trump had nicknamed Kim "Little Rocket Man" and wanted to convince the North Korean leader it was meant affectionately.

Many high-ranking people in the administration have denounced Trump behind his back, according to Bolton. For instance, he quotes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as saying the president "is so full of shit."

Bolton did not agree to testify against Trump in the impeachment trial that came about because of Trump's pressure on Ukraine to release negative information about business dealings there by Hunter Biden, son of 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. (There has been no finding of wrongdoing by any member of the Biden family.) But Bolton, who was no longer national security adviser (he resigned last September) when the trial took place early this year, says in the book that the Democrats didn't go far enough in their accusations.

"He said they should have also looked at how Mr. Trump was willing to intervene in investigations into companies like Turkey's Halkbank to curry favor with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey or China's ZTE to favor Mr. Xi," the Times reports. Trump was acquitted in February.

Bolton's book, already a best-seller through advance orders, is likely to win attention because the criticism of Trump is coming not from a liberal but a hard-line conservative. Bolton was a cheerleader for the Iraq War when he worked in George W. Bush's administration and has frequently denounced the United Nations. But the revelations in his book have many political observers wondering why he didn't come forward earlier.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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