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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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