Bolton: Trump 'frequently' spoke to China's Xi about reelection

 Bolton: Trump 'frequently' spoke to China's Xi about reelection
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Former White House national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonSunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Bolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed MORE said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE "frequently" spoke about his reelection prospects with Chinese President Xi Jinping, noting that it was something that made Bolton feel uncomfortable. 

"I just thought this kind of back and forth with authoritarian leaders did not reflect well on Donald Trump himself or the presidency or the United States," Bolton told NPR while recounting one of the exchanges between the two leaders. 

Bolton said that he was present when Xi voiced disappointment about the fact that Trump could not run for a third term. Trump responded "yes" to the comments, Bolton said. 


Bolton's comments come just ahead of the Tuesday release of his memoir about his experiences inside the Trump White House.

The book, which was obtained by multiple media outlets, including The Hill, describes Trump as "stunningly uninformed" about a range of issues and claims the president committed multiple impeachable offenses.

Bolton also alleges in the book that Trump solicited Xi's assistance in winning reelection. During a Group of 20 summit in Japan, Trump brought up his 2020 campaign and how China could help his efforts to remain in the White House, according to the former administration official. 

"Trump said approvingly that there was great hostility to China among the Democrats," Bolton writes. "Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. 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," Bolton adds. 


Speaking with NPR, Bolton said that it was rare for Trump to make a decision where reelection was not on his mind. He said that he would not vote for him again, though added that he was not going to endorse presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits 'radical left,' news media, China in Independence Day address Kaepernick on July Fourth: 'We reject your celebration of white supremacy' Jaime Harrison seeks to convince Democrats he can take down Lindsey Graham MORE

"I'm planning to write in the name of a conservative Republican, identity to be determined yet," he said. 

Bolton went on to argue that the GOP would find out its priorities don't align with Trump's if the president wins a second term. 

"Once he's free of any reelection pressure, it's going to be revealed — what one of my greatest concerns is — is that he's not a conservative," Bolton said. "And that's one reason I wrote the book." 

Bolton's book, "The Room Where it Happened," has been met with fierce pushback from the president and his administration.

Trump, among other things, has dismissed Bolton as "washed up" and a "liar." The Justice Department also attempted to block the release of the book on grounds that it contained classified information. A judge over the weekend blocked that effort, allowing the book to be released as scheduled.