Trump’s administration asked a federal judge last week to halt the publication of former national security advisor John Bolton’s book. They argue that Bolton had breached non-disclosure agreements and was risking national security by releasing classified information.
The National Security Advisor is a senior aide in the Executive Office of the President, who serves as the chief-in-house advisor to the president of the United States on national security issues.
In his book, John Bolton is set to release information on his time during his role as the NSA and release information from meetings with foreign powers. For some of these meetings, Bolton was not even present in the room. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that Bolton addressed in his book.
In his book, Bolton describes a meeting between Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping. In this meeting, Trump is said to have asked the Chinese leader to help him get reelected by having Americans buy more soybeans and wheat. Bolton writes, “Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US Presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to pleading with Xi to ensure he’s won.” Trump is also alleged to support Xi’s idea of eliminating presidential term limits during the meeting. “Xi said the US had too many elections because he didn’t want to switch away from Trump, who nodded approvingly,” Bolton wrote.
Bolton’s book also details cases where Trump tried to terminate criminal investigations as favors to authoritarian leaders. One incident includes a 2018 discussion where the Turkish President, Recep Erdoğan. Bolton says Erdoğan gave Trump a memo claiming that a Turkish firm under investigation in the US was innocent. “Trump then told Erdoğan he would take care of things, explaining that the southern district prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people.”
His book also provides insights into Trump’s top officials behind the scenes. In an example given, Bolton claims he received a note from the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, after Trump’s 2018 meeting with North Korea, saying “He is so full of shit.” Pompeo also allegedly said a month later that Trump’s diplomatic efforts with North Korea had “zero probability of success.” While this is just one example in the book of how Trump’s staff talks about him behind his back, the book releases essential behind the scenes conversations that should stay in the house.
The National Security Advisor is an aide to the president that advises the president on national security issues. They hold a lot of information that can be damaging to the president and the security of the US. By publishing his book, Bolton is releasing information from private meetings and conversations between staff members that should remain private.