Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report

Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump unleashed: President moves with a free hand post-impeachment Barr back on the hot seat The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE reportedly told Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrA tale of two lies: Stone, McCabe and the danger of a double standard for justice Judge in Roger Stone case orders Tuesday phone hearing Sunday shows - Spotlight shines on Bloomberg, stop and frisk MORE that he feared President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE was granting personal favors to the leaders of China and Turkey.

Bolton recounted the episode in a draft version of his upcoming memoir, according to people familiar with the manuscript who spoke to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity.

Bolton reportedly wrote that Barr responded that he was worried Trump may have created the appearance of having improper influence over investigations involving companies based in those two countries during personal conversations with the leaders of China and Turkey.

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It was not immediately clear what "personal favors" Bolton reportedly referred to in his book. In recent months, the Trump administration has faced criticism for allowing a Turkish military invasion of areas of northern Syria held by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, and the Times noted that Bolton wrote that Barr specifically singled out Trump's conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE as a cause for worry.

Bolton, in a joint statement with publisher Simon & Schuster, said Monday that they were not involved in leaking transcripts of Bolton's book to the Times, though Bolton has not yet denied any revelations reported by the Times.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

On Sunday, it was reported that Bolton wrote in the book that Trump told him he wished to tie $391 million in aid to Ukraine to his requests for Ukrainian investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE and other Democrats, a charge Trump's lawyers immediately denied.

Trump personally lashed out at his former aide on Twitter after the Sunday report, writing that he "never" told Bolton that aid to Ukraine was linked to his desire for a criminal investigation into Biden, a 2020 political rival.

"I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens," Trump tweeted. "In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book."