June 18, 2020

Reactions to John Bolton's Book The Room Where It Happened

John Bolton, long known for his hawkish views, served as President Trump's National Security Advisor from April 2018 to Sept. 2019, when he resigned or was fired (depending on who is telling the story).  His book The Room Where It Happened is scheduled to be released by Simon & Schuster on June 23, 2020, although the U.S. Department of Justice has sued to stop its release.  In the week-plus leading up to the book's launch the press reported on a number of juicy passages.  For example, Bolton wrote, "I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations.” Democrats picked up on some of Bolton's charges, while Trump and the RNC branded him a liar (RNC: "a liar who is clearly bitter that his warmongering advice was ignored.")

Simon & Schuster Corporate Communications
June 10, 2020

Statement on The Room Where It Happened by Ambassador John Bolton

In the months leading up to the publication of The Room Where It Happened, Bolton worked in cooperation with the National Security Council to incorporate changes to the text that addressed NSC concerns. The final, published version of this book reflects those changes, and Simon & Schuster is fully supportive of Ambassador Bolton’s First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the Trump White House.


On June 17, 2020 the U.S. Department of Justice filed an emergency application for a temporary restraining order with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia "seeking to enjoin publication of a book containing classified information."

A. Defendant Assumed Statutory and Contractual Obligations Not to Disclose Classified Information, to Submit Manuscripts for Prepublication Review, and to Abide by the Results of Such Review
B. Defendant Wrote a Book Subject to Prepublication Review, Submitted it for Prepublication Review, and Did Not Receive Written Authorization to Publish the Book, which Continues to Contain Classified Information
C. Without Written Authorization and Without Notice, Defendant Submitted His Book to Simon & Schuster For Publication Containing Classified Material

Among the supporting documents in the DOJ brief is a copy of the agreement Bolton signed in April 2018.

Biden for President
June 17, 2020 

Statement by Vice President Joe Biden

Today, we learned from John Bolton, the President’s former national security advisor, that President Trump sold out the American people to protect his political future. He reportedly directly asked Xi Jinping, China’s leader, to help him get re-elected. He was willing to trade away our most cherished democratic values for the empty promise of a flimsy trade deal that bailed him out of his disastrous tariff war that did so much damage to our farmers, manufacturers, and consumers. 

If these accounts are true, it’s not only morally repugnant, it’s a violation of Donald Trump’s sacred duty to the American people to protect America’s interests and defend our values. 

For months, our country and the world have suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 117,000 Americans have lost their lives and tens of millions of workers are unemployed — and we’ve been hurt far worse because of Donald Trump's inability to lead and his failure to meet the crisis. Today we learned more about the depth and nature of that failure. 

Why didn't he act when the warning signs were so clear? Why did he ignore his briefings from the intelligence community, the warnings from his own team, and from me? Why did he repeatedly praise the Chinese government and President Xi as the coronavirus spread? Because he wanted to have a trade deal with China as a talking point for his re-election campaign. He thought that letting the President of China run the table on us in the long run would give him another term in the short run. In exchange, he was willing to stay silent on Hong Kong. In exchange, he condoned interning more than one million Uighurs in concentration camps. It’s no wonder that this week we’ve also seen reporting that China wants four more years of Donald Trump as president, because he has so weakened the United States.

Donald Trump’s behavior disgraces the American presidency. We knew that long before today’s revelations. 

And my message to China’s leaders, or anyone else who President Trump might invite to interfere: stay out of our democracy. Stay out of our elections. The American people alone will decide the future of this country, and I am confident in the choice they will make.


Democratic National Committee  War Room
June 17, 2020

Bolton Lists All The Ways Trump Was Willing To Sell Out To China

A new book by the former national security advisor to Trump lays out serious allegations about Trump caving to China and reaffirms Trump’s dangerous and self-interested approach to trade negotiations that led to the unprecedented health care crisis sweeping our nation.

President Xi played him on every front. As a direct result of Trump’s self interest and incompetence, Trump sold out American workers, caused a manufacturing recession, and willfully ignored the threat of coronavirus, which has led to 115,000 Americans dead and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.

Here are the top takeaways:

1. Trump was so desperate for a trade deal that would benefit his reelection that he was willing to sell out America’s interests for a photo op with China.

“Trump came close, unilaterally offering that U.S. tariffs would remain at 10% rather than rise to 25%, as he had previously threatened. In exchange, Trump asked merely for some increases in Chinese farm-product purchases, to help with the crucial farm-state vote… Trump’s conversations with Xi reflected not only the incoherence in his trade policy but also the confluence in Trump’s mind of his own political interests and U.S. national interests. Trump commingled the personal and the national not just on trade questions but across the whole field of national security.”

2. Rather than take a stand against China’s authoritarian rule, Trump proposed he emulate it, an idea that President Xi endorsed.

“One highlight came when Xi said he wanted to work with Trump for six more years, and Trump replied that people were saying that the two-term constitutional limit on presidents should be repealed for him. Xi said the U.S. had too many elections, because he didn’t want to switch away from Trump, who nodded approvingly.”

3. Trump was willing to do literally anything for China — he risked our national security to grant personal favors to Chinese companies, even  reversing sanctions levied for selling technology to Iran and North Korea.

“Trump, by contrast, saw this not as a policy issue to be resolved but as an opportunity to make personal gestures to Xi. In 2018, for example, he reversed penalties that Ross and the Commerce Department had imposed on ZTE. In 2019, he offered to reverse criminal prosecution against Huawei if it would help in the trade deal—which, of course, was primarily about getting Trump re-elected in 2020.”

4. If you thought he could sink no lower, think again. Trump willfully told China that it was okay to build concentration camps.

“At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. 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.”

It’s no surprise that Trump wasted months buying the Chinese government’s spin on coronavirus and ignoring warnings from our intelligence community, public health experts, and Vice President Biden.

Florida Democratic Party
June 17, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Frances Swanson

ICYMI: Former national security adviser reveals Trump’s praise for dictators, request for Chinese help in election, waffling on Venezuela

An explosive article from The Washington Post with details from former national security adviser John Bolton's new book exposes Donald Trump's failed and inconsistent strategy toward Venezuela as just a rhetorical ploy to win Florida, and claims he has no intention of removing dictator Maduro from power. The article also reports on Trump’s pleadings to Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him to win his reelection, and his admiration for authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“This report underscores what we’ve known about Donald Trump for a long time now -- he will happily undermine our democracy and support dictators on a dime if it’s in his self interest. Trump’s corruption will come back to haunt him in November when Floridians show up in force to vote him out of office” said Frances Swanson, spokesperson for the Florida Democratic Party.

Key Points:

Trump begged the Chinese government to help him win re-election

  • “President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 U.S. election, telling Xi during a summit dinner last year that increased agricultural purchases by Beijing from American farmers would aid his electoral prospects, according to a damning new account of life inside the Trump administration by former national security adviser John Bolton.”

  • ‘“He then, 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.”’

Trump signed off on Chinese concentration camps for Uighur Muslims 

  • “At the same meeting, Xi also defended China’s construction of camps housing up to 1 million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang — and Trump signaled his approval. “According to our interpreter,” Bolton writes, “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.”

Trump’s admiration for authoritarian leaders 

  • “The request for electoral assistance from Xi is just one of many instances described by Bolton in which Trump seeks favors or approval from authoritarian leaders. "

  • “In one May 2019 phone call, for example, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, part of what Bolton terms a “brilliant display of Soviet style propaganda” to shore up support for Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro. Putin’s claims, Bolton writes, “largely persuaded Trump.”’

  • “Bolton says he was so alarmed by Trump’s determination to do favors for autocrats such as Erdogan and Xi that he scheduled a meeting with Attorney General William P. Barr in 2019 to discuss his behavior. Bolton writes that Barr agreed he also was worried about the appearances created by the president’s behavior.”

  • “Bolton attributes a litany of shocking statements to the president. Trump said invading Venezuela would be “cool” and that the South American nation was “really part of the United States.” Bolton says Trump kept confusing the current and former presidents of Afghanistan, while asking Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to help him strike a deal with Iran. And Trump told Xi that Americans were clamoring for him to change the constitutional rules to serve more than two terms, according to the book.”

Trump suggested jailing the free press

  • "Bolton also describes a summer 2019 meeting in New Jersey where Trump says journalists should be jailed so they have to divulge their sources: “These people should be executed. They are scumbags,” Trump said, according to Bolton's account."

Trump waffled on Venezuela 

  • “For instance, driven by a desire to please Florida Republicans, Trump talked tough about his desire to oust Maduro throughout much of 2018. But Bolton portrays Trump as inconsistent and worry-worn when presented with the opportunity to support Guaido, who declared himself the nation’s president in January 2019. Though Trump approved of a proposal from Bolton to publicly declare the United States recognized Guaido rather than Maduro, within 30 hours Trump was already worrying that Guaido appeared weak — a “kid” compared to “tough” Maduro — and considering changing course. “You couldn’t make this up,” Bolton writes.”

Republican National Committee
June 18, 2020

The Room Where It Didn't Happen

It’s no secret Bolton has vast policy disagreements with President Trump and that’s what the core of the released excerpts reveal. Even Bolton’s “completely crazy” so-called China bombshell has already been fact checked as “absolutely untrue.”

Furthermore, the allegations Bolton makes in his book do not square with the extensive praise Bolton used to offer President Trump.

Bolton previously not only wrote that President Trump’s “concrete list of accomplishments” would “inevitably increase the power of America’s presence in the world,” he called President Trump a “dogged defender of American interests.”

So while Democrats and the Biden campaign rush to hype up Bolton’s book, reminder:

It wasn’t that long ago when Joe Biden blasted Bolton as a liar, said Bolton’s “modus operandi” is that “he would shade intelligence to move in the direction where he wanted to go” and criticized Bolton’s my way or the highway approach:  “anyone who disagreed with him, he’d try to get rid of.”

Bottom Line: If John Bolton truly witnessed what he claims, he should have said it then instead of selling lies for profit. Bolton is a liar who is clearly bitter that his warmongering advice was ignored. Fortunately, President Trump is putting America – not more wars – first!

Steve Guest
Rapid Response Director
Republican National Committee
Republican National Committee  Research Briefing
June 18, 2020

John Bolton Has Gone From Fired War Hawk To Lying Author

Don’t Let His New Book Confuse You; John Bolton Was Fired From The White House Over Policy Disagreements With The President And Has Long Been Known To Shade Information To Fit His Own Agenda


The Facts:


John Bolton was an effusive supporter of the President who repeatedly praised the President’s policies and said he looked forward to a President that “puts US interests first.

Bolton heralded President Trump’s “concrete list of accomplishments” that would “inevitably increase the power of America’s presence in the world.”

Bolton has called the President a “dogged defender of American interests.”

Bolton praised the President for rebuilding our military and nuclear arsenal, taking action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons, his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, and confronting the human rights abuse of the Maduro regime.

Bolton effusively praised President Trump for moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel, calling it the “right move ” and key to secure and lasting peace.

Bolton said the U.S./Israel relationship had never been stronger than under President Trump.


President Trump: “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration.”

PBS: “The fundamental policy disagreements that pushed John Bolton away from Trump.”

“Over time, Bolton's positions emerged as too aggressive to a president who campaigned on ending wars.”

NPR: Bolton had views that were “at stark odds with that of the president.”

Former Senior Director of National Security Council: On “North Korea, Iran and Venezuela…Bolton wanted a war and the president didn't.”

The Associated Press: President Donald Trump “had strong disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and a cascade of other global challenges,” with John Bolton.

The New York Times: “Five Policy Crashes Between John Bolton And President Trump.”

“The two men have regularly been at odds over how to take on major foreign policy challenges facing the United States.”

Mr. Bolton, a longtime national security hawk, held some views that contrasted with Mr. Trump’s, favoring sanctions and preemptive military action against some countries even as the president pursued diplomacy.”


In May 2018, Joe Biden said that John Bolton had a “modus operandi” where “he would shade intelligence to move in the direction where he wanted to go.”

Biden: “Secondly, anyone who disagreed with him he’d try to get rid of.”

In 2005, then-Senator Barack Obama said Bolton sought to shade intelligence and sideline career intelligence analysts who did not agree with his policy views.”

Obama: Bolton sought to massage intelligence to fit an ideological bias.”

The Washington Post: Bolton was accused of manipulating and bullying intelligence analysts who opposed him or tried to out him by providing correct intelligence.