John Bolton is a mad dog neocon. We should not feel sorry his being used by the Trump administration. But he does have a lot to say about he ex-boss. And what he has to say is doing damage to Don the con’s reelection prospects.
Bolton’s account of Trump’s extortion of China is at the very least an impeachable offense. At worst he is using American national security to advance his own personal political agenda:
Trump explicitly linked the purchases with his reelection, Bolton writes. Trump offered to keep U.S. tariffs at 10%, instead of the 25% he’d threatened, if Xi would play ball.
“He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome,” Bolton writes. Trump sat there “pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win.”
In other words, Trump offered to trade a huge national policy concession to a foreign adversary for help winning reelection.
Asking foreigners for “a thing of value” to help with a U.S. political campaign is a violation of law, according to Federal Election Commissioner Ellen Weintraub.
Then there are the other allegations:
No one can brief Trump, according to Bolton.
“Much of the time was spent listening to Trump, rather than Trump listening to the briefers,” Bolton writes. “I made several tries to improve the transmission of intelligence to Trump, but failed repeatedly.
Trump the useful fool for Putin:
Bolton says he never quite understood Trump’s thinking on Russia, but feared Russia’s savvy president Vladimir Putin would get whatever he wanted out of Trump when they were alone together behind closed doors.
Just what we thought. The North Korean negotiations were just a ploy:
Trump hailed his Singapore summit with North Korea’s Kim as a diplomatic break-through that utterly removed the threat of the North’s nuclear weapons program.
But Bolton says Trump knew full well that was nonsense. He quotes Trump as saying: “This is an exercise in publicity.”
Yes, the Ukraine scandal was real:
Bolton confirms the central thrust of Democrats’ impeachment case against Trump last winter, saying Trump explicitly told him that he wanted to hold up $391 million in military assistance until he got the dirt on Biden and his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
“He said he wasn’t in favor of sending them anything until all Russia-investigation material related to Clinton and Biden had been turned over,” Bolton writes. “We had talked to Trump between eight and ten times to get the money released.”
Like any good dictator, Trump wants to throw reporters in jail:
Trump believes he can stop leaks from his White House by putting journalists in jail until they confess to their sources, Bolton writes. It’s one of Trump’s “favorite legal gambits,” according to Bolton. “Only then would the leaks stop,” Bolton writes.
Bolton recalls Trump telling a top White House lawyer to call the Attorney General about that idea.
“These people should be executed. They are scumbags,” Trump said, according to Bolton.
Obviously John Bolton’s allegations are doing damage otherwise why would Donald still be denouncing him:
President Trump said he resisted punishing China for its mass internment of ethnic Uighurs last year for fear of jeopardizing trade talks with Beijing, a blunt admission of his transactional approach to human rights and willingness to subordinate other U.S. policy priorities to a potential trade deal he considers vital to his re-election.
In an interview with Axios published on Sunday, Mr. Trump was asked why he had not approved a Treasury Department plan in late 2018 to impose sanctions on Chinese government officials who were connected to the severe crackdown on China’s Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.
“Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal,” Mr. Trump said.
“And when you’re in the middle of a negotiation and then all of a sudden you start throwing additional sanctions on — we’ve done a lot,” he added. “I put tariffs on China, which are far worse than any sanction you can think of.”