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Trump lashes out at Bolton over 'nasty' and 'untrue' book

President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE on Wednesday lashed out at his former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump offered North Korea's Kim a ride home on Air Force One: report Key impeachment figure Pence sticks to sidelines Bolton lawyer: Trump impeachment trial is constitutional MORE, calling his upcoming book that reportedly contains details about the Ukraine affair at the center of the president’s impeachment “nasty” and “untrue.”

Trump said that his former top aide “begged” him for a job and that Bolton made “mistakes of judgment” during his tenure, citing an April 2018 television appearance in which Bolton said the Trump administration was considering the “Libya model” for North Korean denuclearization negotiations.

Trump said Bolton was “fired because, frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now.”

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Trump then called into question why Bolton would write a book about his tenure “IMMEDIATELY” after his firing, calling it “nasty & untrue.”

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The tweets come days after a report by The New York Times that Bolton wrote in an unpublished draft of his book that Trump told him in August that he wanted to continue to suspend security assistance to Ukraine until the country announced investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE and his son Hunter Biden.

Trump has repeatedly denied Bolton’s account as reported by the Times, and his allies have lashed out at the former top aide in recent days, questioning his credibility and motives.

The revelations have roiled the Senate impeachment trial, raising pressure on Republicans to support calling Bolton as a witness after the White House prevented him from testifying in the House. The excerpt contradicts a key part of Trump’s defense — namely that he never tied security assistance for Ukraine to investigations, something House impeachment managers have alleged.

Trump’s defense attorneys addressed the issue during their opening arguments on Monday and Tuesday, with the president’s personal attorney Jay SekulowJay Alan SekulowThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - New video of riot unnerves many senators Trump legal switch hints at larger problems Trump, House GOP relationship suddenly deteriorates MORE citing Trump's denial and urging senators to disregard the reported details of the manuscript by calling it “inadmissible.”

Harvard law professor Alan DershowitzAlan Morton DershowitzA victory for the Constitution, not so much for Trump Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in on Trump impeachment trial; Biden administration eyes timeline for mass vaccinations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Dems rest their case; verdict on Trump this weekend MORE also argued Monday evening that even if Bolton’s reported account were true, the allegations would not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

Senate Republican leaders are currently scrambling to prevent an affirmative vote on witnesses in the wake of the revelations.

Trump has previously indicated he may try to block Bolton from testifying by asserting executive privilege, saying his testimony would present problems for national security. The president appeared to allude to that in the tweets Wednesday morning by suggesting the content of his forthcoming book is “All Classified National Security.”

Trump tweeted about Bolton, impeachment and the witness issue a handful of times overnight on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, suggesting the issue is at the forefront of his mind.

“Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this ‘nonsense’ a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated. He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!” Trump wrote hours before sending the latest tweets attacking Bolton.

Later, Trump also appeared to warn Republican senators against supporting witnesses in the trial, instructing them not to be “played” by Democrats.  

“Remember Republicans, the Democrats already had 17 witnesses, we were given NONE! Witnesses are up to the House, not up to the Senate,” the president tweeted. “Don’t let the Dems play you!”

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