Re-election drove Trump’s foreign policy, Bolton says in book

Jordan Fabian
Bloomberg

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton paints an unflattering picture of Donald Trump in his forthcoming memoir, writing that the president’s foreign policy choices were driven primarily by political considerations.

In the book set to be released on June 23, Bolton will detail chaos in the White House and offer a behind-the-scenes look at issues related to China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, as well as European allies, according to publisher Simon & Schuster Inc. The White House has sought to block the book, citing an ongoing review for classified material.

In this Feb. 19, 2020, file photo, former national security adviser John Bolton takes part in a discussion on global leadership at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations,” Bolton writes in the book, titled “The Room Where It Happened,” the publisher said in a release.

The former top security aide, who was ousted last September, will argue the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was too narrow and should have focused on more than Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. Simon & Schuster promised Bolton will offer details on other similar moves by Trump across the full range of his foreign policy and the national security adviser’s efforts to stop them.

Bolton declined to testify in the House’s impeachment probe, and instead deferred to the federal courts if a subpoena would be legally valid. House Democrats did not issue a subpoena, saying a lengthy legal battle would unnecessarily prolong the impeachment process.

Bolton said during a February speech at Vanderbilt University he did not regret his refusal to testify because it “would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”

“I sleep at night because I have followed my conscience,” he said, according to USA Today.

Bolton’s attorney, Charles Cooper, pledged earlier this week the book would be released on June 23 and accused the White House of using the pre-publication review process to try and stonewall.

The White House did not comment on Cooper’s accusations.