Trump Fumes Over Bolton Bombshell

Stefani Reynolds/ZUMA

President Donald Trump lashed out at John Bolton in the wake of an explosive New York Times report late Sunday that his former national security adviser’s forthcoming book will accuse the president of telling Bolton that he wanted to continue withholding security assistance to Ukraine until the country moved forward with investigations into Democrats, including Joe Biden.
In a series of furious tweets reacting to the Times story, Trump accused Bolton of attempting to boost book sales. “If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” the president wrote.

I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. 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. With that being said, the…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020

…(Democrats said I never met) and released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations – and far ahead of schedule. I also allowed Ukraine to purchase Javelin anti-tank missiles. My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020

Bolton’s allegations, which recount a private conversation between the two men from August, directly undermine the president’s impeachment defense that the hold on military aid was unrelated to the president’s wish to see Ukraine launch investigations into his political rivals. In the wake of the Times report, Democrats have intensified their calls for the Senate to call witnesses, including Bolton, to appear before the impeachment trial.

The President blocked our request for Bolton’s testimony.
Now we see why:
Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the President’s defense.
If the trial is to be fair, Senators must insist that Mr. Bolton be called as a witness, and provide his notes and other documents.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 27, 2020

Trump appeared to hit at those very calls Monday morning, falsely claiming that House Democrats never sought Bolton’s testimony. In reality, Bolton was invited to testify before the impeachment inquiry but the White House ordered him not to, and he ultimately declined to voluntarily appear. House Democrats opted not to subpoena the former national security adviser to forgo a lengthy court battle.
“We regret Mr. Bolton’s decision not to appear voluntarily, but we have no interest in allowing the Administration to play rope-a-dope with us in the courts for months,” a House Intelligence Committee official said at the time. “Rather, the White House instruction that he not appear will add to the evidence of the President’s obstruction of Congress.”
Bolton’s book, reportedly titled “The Room Where It Happened,” is expected to be released March 17.