Trump said he hoped COVID-19 'takes out' Bolton: book

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE said during a meeting that he hoped the COVID-19 pandemic "takes out" his former national security adviser-turned-critic John BoltonJohn BoltonWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Bolton: Trump lacked enough 'advance thinking' for a coup MORE, according to soon-to-be published book.

This account comes from "Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History," written by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta about Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Axios reports.

"Trump had tried to joke about the virus for months, sometimes even mocking people who had become ill. ... At one meeting several months [before Trump got sick], NEC director Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE had stifled a cough. The room had frozen. ... Trump had waved his hands in front of his face, as if to jokingly ward off any flying virus particles, and then cracked a smile. 'I was just kidding,' he'd said. 'Larry will never get COVID. He will defeat it with his optimism,'" an excerpt from the book obtained by the news outlet reads.

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"'John Bolton,' he had said ... 'Hopefully COVID takes out John,'" Trump said, according to the book.

When reached for comment by Axios, Bolton said: "Fooled me — I thought he was relying on his lawyers."

In 2019, a year after leaving the Trump administration, Bolton published his own book, "The Room Where It Happened," in which he alleged that Trump had attempted to use U.S. foreign policy maneuvers to secure his victory in the 2020 presidential campaign.

The Trump administration had attempted to block the publication of Bolton's book. A federal judge later shot the lawsuit down, though he wrote in his ruling that Bolton had "likely published classified materials" and "exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability."

The Department of Justice under the Trump administration launched a criminal investigation into Bolton, which was dropped last week.

Another excerpt from the forthcoming book by Abutaleb and Paletta claims that Trump suggested sending returning Americans who had contracted COVID-19 abroad to Guantanamo Bay in the early days of the pandemic.

“We import goods,” Trump reportedly said. “We are not going to import a virus.”