President Trump responded early Monday to revelations Sunday evening that former National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote in an unpublished book he witnessed first-hand Trump linking frozen Ukraine military aid to Kyiv helping investigate Trump's Democratic rivals, including Joe Biden. "I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens," Trump tweeted, adding that if "Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book."
Trump may have a point there. Right after The New York Times reported on Bolton's recollection of Trump's Ukraine quid pro quo:
BREAKING: John Bolton's book, "The Room Where it Happened," is tentatively slated for release on March 17. The Amazon page just went live https://t.co/dZ1AkZDQ7x
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 27, 2020
Still, that doesn't mean Bolton is wrong. He says he is willing to testify about Ukraine in Trump's impeachment trial, and several observers noted that Trump could also volunteer to swear he didn't offer the quid pro quo under oath.
The rest of Trump's tweeted statement held up the partial transcript of his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as "all the proof that is needed." In the transcript, Trump directly followed Zelensky's mention of U.S. miliary aid with "I would like you to do us a favor, though," the favor being an investigation into a baseless conspiracy theory about Crowdstrike and a hacked Democratic National Committee server; Trump then specifically asked Zelensky to "look into" Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Before Trump responded to Bolton's reported revelations, Rudy Giuliani — Trump's envoy and an undisputed central figure in Trump's Ukraine activities — said in a statement that he "used to like and respect John and tell people they were wrong about how irresponsible he was. I was wrong." He then suggested Bolton "wasn't man enough" to raise his concerns about Giuliani to his face.
More from Rudy - "He [Bolton] never once expressed concern to me. If he had confronted me, I could have explained it to him.....He [Bolton] wasn’t man enough to just ask and instead makes false and irresponsible barges to write a book about his failed career." https://t.co/2xjRyuH82n
— John Santucci (@Santucci) January 27, 2020
In Bolton's book, the Times reports, Bolton expressed concerns about Giuliani's Ukraine scheme with White House lawyers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General William Barr; the Justice Department confirmed the latter conversation Sunday night.
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