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Trump Sought to Withhold Ukraine Aid Until Bidens’ Probe: Bolton Book

Monday 27 January 2020
Trump Sought to Withhold Ukraine Aid Until Bidens’ Probe: Bolton Book

Alwaght- US President's former national security adviser said Donald Trump has told him in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until Kiev helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, The New York Times reported citing an unpublished manuscript by John Bolton.

The president’s statement as described by Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

However, President Trump instantly weighed in, tweeting, half the message capitalized, that he “NEVER TOLD” Bolton the Ukraine aid was tied to any investigations into Democrats - something, he stressed, proved by both the July phone call transcripts and Ukraine’s reply:

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. With that being said, the...

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020

...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. Additionally, I met with President Zelensky at the United Nations...

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020

Over dozens of pages, Bolton reportedly depicted how the Ukraine affair had been unfolding over several months until he left the White House in September, describing “not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine” but also the way some senior cabinet officials, including Mike Pompeo, have publicly tried to distance themselves from involvement.

It is not clear if the edition has itself obtained and reviewed the potentially soon-to-be-published book, the drafts of which he has reportedly circulated among his close associates. However, Bolton’s account was generally “described by multiple people", the edition noted.

Bolton also reportedly said that after Trump's July phone call with the president of Ukraine, he talked to Attorney General William P. Barr about his concerns regarding Rudy Giuliani, who saw eye to eye with the president on Ukraine, and allegedly told Barr that the president had mentioned him on the call. However, a spokeswoman for Barr denied that he had learned of the call from Bolton, with the Justice Department noting he learned about it only in mid-August.

The NY Times story has it that the president’s statement - through Bolton’s lens, might undermine the whole  of POTUS Trump’s impeachment defense, the essential element of which being that suspension of aid and request to investigate ex-Vice President Biden and his son, who worked in Ukraine, for presumed corruption were not in any way connected.

Bolton’s lawyer blamed the White House for the disclosure 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,” the lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, said Sunday night.

He confirmed they had sent a copy of the book to the White House on Dec. 30 — 12 days after Mr. Trump was impeached by House Democrats  - for review for classified information, adding though that Bolton believed it contained no sensitive in terms of national security data.

Tags :

John Bolton Ukraine Gate Trump Impeachment

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