Washington DC, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- A book soon to be released by the United States president’s former national security adviser paints the leader as someone who allows himself to be influenced by dictators and is ignorant about basic foreign policy.
US media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, on Wednesday published excerpts from and allegations in John Bolton’s forthcoming book “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.”
It is expected to hit shelves on June 23, although the government filed a lawsuit against Bolton to prevent the book’s publication on the grounds that it contains classified information.
Here are seven revelations from the book:
1. An obsession with gifting CD to Kim Jong-un
Bolton describes how President Donald Trump was obsessed with giving Elton John’s “Rocket Man” song on CD to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump had referred to Kim as a “Little Rocket Man” as an insult in relation to his nuclear program, although he later tried to convince the dictator that it was a term of affection.
According to the Washington Post, after the first summit between the two leaders in June 2018, Trump asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give Kim the CD during his follow-up visit to North Korea, something that would violate US sanctions on Pyongyang and which Pompeo did not do, so “getting this CD to Kim remained a high priority for several months.”
2. China’s help with re-election prospects
Bolton also reportedly claims that during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan in June 2019, Trump asked his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to help him with the November 2020 election through gestures such as buying US soybeans and wheat that would help him garner votes.
During his meeting with Xi, Trump “stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton describes in an excerpt published by the WSJ.
3. Backing Xi over Uighur internment camps
In addition, during the G20 meeting, the US president allegedly encouraged Xi’s building of internment camps for the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang province.
“With only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do,” writes Bolton, according to the WSJ.
4. Is Finland part of Russia?
On the other hand, the book allegedly portrays Trump as someone ignorant about foreign policy and basic facts about the world.
According to the New York Times, Trump “did not seem to know, for example, that Britain was a nuclear power and asked if Finland was a part of Russia.”
5. On the verge of pulling out of NATO
According to the Post, Bolton claims that the US president nearly announced the US’ withdrawal from NATO during one of its summits in July 2018.
Bolton writes that at one point in the summit, Trump decided to tell US allies that the country would pull out of NATO if the other members did not substantially increase defense spending by January 2019, dictating in a message to Bolton: “We will walk out, and not defend those who have not [paid].”