President Donald Trump and top officials in his administration are challenging allegations made by John Bolton, who was Trumps national security adviser before being fired in 2018.
Bolton made a number of claims in a book hes trying to release despite efforts to block the publishing because it would disclose classified information. Bolton at one point claims Trump asked Chinas leader Xi Jinping for help in winning re-election.
“Absolutely untrue, never happened,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday when presented with that claim. “I was there, I have no recollection of that ever happening. I dont believe its true, I dont believe it ever happened.”
The Trump administration sued Bolton this week in an attempt to block the release of the book.
John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, said on June 17 that “unauthorized disclosures of classified information damage our national security.”
Trump later in the day said Bolton “broke the law” by disclosing “highly classified information” in his book.
Bolton couldnt get approved to a Senate-confirmed position, so he gave him the adviser role, the president said.
“Nobodys been tough like me on China,” Trump asserted. “Were taking in right now billions and billions of dollars from China. I gave a lot of it to the farmers, because the farmers were targeted by China. Nobodys ever done that.”
He was speaking during an interview with Fox News Sean Hannity.
In a missive on Twitter, Trump said that Boltons book is full of “lies” and “fake stories.”
“Said all good about me, in print, until the day I fired him. A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war. Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped,” he said.
The pushback came as ABC News released a snippet of an interview it recently conducted with Bolton.
“I dont think hes fit for office,” Bolton said. “I dont think he has the competency to carry out the job. There really isnt any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than whats good for Donald Trumps reelection.”
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