Bolton Book Claims Trump Directed Him To Help Pressure Ukraine For Biden Probe
In early May 2019, President Donald Trump held an Oval Office meeting with then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and other administration officials and directed Bolton to assist with the pressure campaign to extract politically-motivated investigations from Ukrainian officials.
This is according to Bolton’s forthcoming book, “The Room Where It Happened,” The New York Times reported on Friday.
The book claims that “acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president’s impeachment defense” were also present at the meeting.
Trump told Bolton to call Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky — who had just won his election — and ensure that Zelensky would meet with Giuliani about investigations into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden. Bolton reportedly claims in the book that he did not make the requested phone call.
The meeting took place two months before Trump would broach the subject with Zelensky himself during his now-infamous July 25 phone call with the newly minted president.
“Over several pages, Mr. Bolton laid out Mr. Trump’s fixation on Ukraine and the president’s belief, based on a mix of scattershot events, assertions and outright conspiracy theories, that Ukraine tried to undermine his chances of winning the presidency in 2016,” The Times reported.
Bolton wrote that he began to object when he realized the extent of the pressure campaign — affirming the impeachment inquiry testimony of former National Security Council aide Fiona Hill, who testified that Bolton called Giuliani “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”
Giuliani denied to The Times that the conversation Bolton describes took place, saying, “It is absolutely, categorically untrue.”
Neither Bolton, a representative for Mulvaney, nor the White House responded to requests for comment.
This marks the second bombshell revelation to come from Bolton’s book, after The Times reported earlier this week that the former national security adviser wrote “that Mr. Trump told him in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter.”