Trump Fumes Over Bolton Bombshell

In yet another lie, the president claims House Democrats never sought Bolton’s testimony.

Stefani Reynolds/ZUMA

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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.

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.

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.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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