Trump says he didn’t see Bolton ‘manuscript’
President Trump told reporters Monday that he hadn’t seen the manuscript of former national security adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book that reportedly contains explosive allegations about the president’s statements regarding Ukraine.
“I have not seen a manuscript,” Trump told reporters Monday before denying the details of the manuscript as reported by The New York Times.
“I can tell you nothing was ever said to John Bolton,” Trump told reporters while welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, later calling the details as reported by the Times “false.”
The Times reported Sunday evening that Bolton writes in the draft of his new book that Trump told him he wanted to continue to withhold security aid to Ukraine until the country began helping with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden.
Bolton’s reported account undercuts a key prong of Trump’s defense in the Senate impeachment trial — namely that he did not condition nearly $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine on Kyiv launching investigations that could benefit him politically.
Trump tweeted hours after the report was published that he “NEVER” told his former aide, who was ousted in September, that the aid was tied to investigations into Democrats, suggesting Bolton was only raising the allegations to promote his forthcoming book.
The Times cited multiple anonymous sources who had described Bolton’s account of the Ukraine matter.
Bolton’s lawyer said in a statement late Sunday that that a draft copy of the book was given to the White House National Security Council (NSC) for a security review at the end of December and that the report showed the prepublication review process had been “corrupted.”
A White House spokesman said Monday that Bolton’s manuscript had not been viewed by any White House personnel outside of the NSC.
“Ambassador Bolton’s manuscript was submitted to the NSC for pre-publication review and has been under initial review by the NSC,” National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said. “No White House personnel outside NSC have reviewed the manuscript.”