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Trump Unloads On Bolton Over New Ukraine Claims
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House August 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. This is Iohannis’ second visit to the Trump White House and the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral issues during their meeting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump issued a fiery statement Sunday responding to a report on an unpublished manuscript of John Bolton’s upcoming book, in which the former national security reportedly claims that the president told him specifically that the withholding of Ukraine aid was connected to investigations he sought into corruption allegations involving the Ukrainian energy company that paid then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son tens of thousands of dollars a month.

The alleged “explosive” claims by Bolton— who Democrats are demanding be subpoenaed by the Senate after choosing not to in the House — were first reported by The New York Times on Sunday (formatting adjusted):

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton. …

Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. He also sent a draft to the White House for a standard review process for some current and former administration officials who write books.

Multiple people described Mr. Bolton’s account of the Ukraine affair. The book presents an outline of what Mr. Bolton might testify to if he is called as a witness in the Senate impeachment trial, the people said. The White House could use the pre-publication review process, which has no set time frame, to delay or even kill the book’s publication or omit key passages.

In response, Trump blasted out a series of tweets Sunday denying that he told Bolton that the freeze on aid was connected to investigations into the Bidens and suggesting that if the Times’ report is accurate, Bolton is lying in order to “sell a book.”

“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” Trump wrote (tweets below).

“With that being said, the transcripts of my calls with President Zelensky are all the proof that is needed, in addition to the fact that President Zelensky & the Foreign Minister of Ukraine said there was no pressure and no problems,” Trump continued, arguments he’s repeatedly hammered over the last few months.

“Additionally, I met with President Zelensky at the United Nations (Democrats said I never met) and released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations – and far ahead of schedule,” Trump added. “I also allowed Ukraine to purchase Javelin anti-tank missiles. My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration.”

In a statement to the Times on Sunday, Bolton’s lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, blamed the White House for the leaking of the book’s contents. “It is clear, regrettably, from the New York Times article published today that the pre-publication review process has been corrupted and that information has been disclosed by persons other than those properly involved in reviewing the manuscript,” said Cooper.

As The Daily Wire reported Sunday, Bolton has come under intense fire by critics after pre-orders for his book went live following the Times report.

Related: Critics Hammer Bolton After Book Pre-Order Goes Live Following Leaked Manuscript Published By NYT