Mulvaney on Bolton book: 'Excerpts that I have seen have been factually false'

Former acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds MORE, now the U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland, on Friday claimed that excerpts from former White House national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonEx-Trump adviser, impeachment witness Fiona Hill gets book deal Hannity's first book in 10 years debuts at No. 1 on Amazon Congress has a shot at correcting Trump's central mistake on cybersecurity MORE's new book are “factually false.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE and his top advisers have repeatedly denied a slate of allegations in Bolton’s forthcoming memoir, “The Room Where It Happened.” The Justice Department has also filed a lawsuit challenging the publication of the book. 

Mulvaney appeared on CNN on Friday morning and was pressed by anchor Jim Sciutto over the claims that Trump administration officials have made that “this book is a lie, in effect” while they have also tried to block its publication, citing classified information.

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“So which is it? Are the accounts in this book classified or false?” Sciutto asked.

“They could easily be both,” Mulvaney replied. “You could have some things in there that are false, and certainly the excerpts I’ve read, I’ve not seen the whole book, I’m not sure why I didn’t receive a courtesy copy of it. I understand I’m in there several times over, but the excerpts that I have seen have been factually false, and it’s very likely or possible that the stuff we’ve not seen is classified.”

“I’m not involved in the process of screening that book. That goes through the National Security Council that John Bolton used to run,” Mulvaney added. 

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One excerpt from the book claims that Trump solicited Chinese President Xi Jinping’s assistance in winning reelection this November. Bolton alleges that, during a meeting with the Chinese leader, Trump “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 says in the book. The Hill has obtained a copy of the memoir. 

Mulvaney called the excerpt Bolton’s “whimsical spin on what actually happened at the meeting.” 

“I was at the meeting. Secretary Pompeo was at the meeting. Secretary Mnuchin was at the meeting, and did the president talk about the Chinese buying more American soybeans and other agricultural products? Yes, he did that probably every time he talked to President Xi,” Mulvaney told CNN Friday.

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“Would selling American agricultural products be good for the country and thus good for the president’s reelection chances? Yes, they would be, but to put those two factually true statements together to make it look like the president was begging China for inappropriate help is just, that’s bizarre,” Mulvaney continued.

Mulvaney said that Bolton did not raise any concerns to him or other White House officials at the time of the meeting, adding that he and others at the meeting do not “remember anything inappropriate.”

Bolton’s memoir is due to be released to the public on June 23. Bolton has denied that the memoir contains classified information.