The NY Times has been busy pumping out anti-Trump revelations from John Bolton’s new book. They released a Ukraine ‘bombshell’ on Sunday and a China-Turkey ‘bombshell’ on Monday. One big problem with it all is the people named as witnesses who could back up Bolton’s claims are rapidly denying them.
FIRST THERE WAS SUNDAY’S ‘BOMBSHELL’
As most know by now, the New York Times published an article on Sunday — based on a leak — claiming Trump told Bolton he “wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”
President Trump tweeted his denial, saying, “If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”
Bolton allegedly named Mick Mulvaney as someone who expressed concerns. Chief of Staff Mulvaney denied it.
This report, from anonymous sources, is allegedly based on Bolton’s yet unpublished book manuscript.
The book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, opened on Amazon to pre-sales on the evening of the day the Times came up with their ‘bombshell.’ The book will come out during impeachment, and before a major election, which smacks of vicious revenge by a disgruntled employee.
TIMES’ MONDAY ‘BOMBSHELL’
Then, on Monday, the Times published a report — in seeming coordination with former NSA John Bolton’s publishers — claiming that Bolton “privately told Attorney General Bill Barr last year that he had concerns that President Trump was effectively granting personal favors to the autocratic leaders of Turkey and China.”
It is not clear what “personal favors” Bolton was alleging.
As for the Monday ‘bombshell,’ Barr denies it.
On Monday, the Times claims Bolton spoke to Attorney General Bill Barr about the President’s interactions with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Xi Jinping, the leaders of Turkey and China. The article says the Attorney General was similarly concerned about the president creating “the appearance that he had undue influence over what would typically be independent inquiries.”
The Times writes:
Mr. Bolton wrote in the manuscript that Mr. Barr singled out Mr. Trump’s conversations with Mr. Xi about the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE, which agreed in 2017 to plead guilty and pay heavy fines for violating American sanctions on doing business with North Korea, Iran and other countries. A year later, Mr. Trump lifted the sanctions over objections from his own advisers and Republican lawmakers.
Mr. Barr also cited remarks Mr. Trump made to Mr. Erdogan in 2018 about the investigation of Halkbank, Turkey’s second-largest state-owned bank. The Justice Department was scrutinizing Halkbank on fraud and money-laundering charges for helping Iran evade sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department.
IT NEVER HAPPENED
By Monday night, the Department of Justice denied the entire reported exchange between Bolton and Barr.
In a statement, a DOJ spokesman said that the DOJ has not reviewed the manuscript, but that there was never a discussion about “personal favors” or “undue influence” between the two officials.
Barr’s spokesperson, Kerri Kupec wrote that “If this is truly what Mr. Bolton has written, then it seems he is attributing to Attorney General Barr his own current views–views with which Attorney General Barr does not agree.”
DOJ statement in response to tonight’s NYT story on John Bolton and Attorney General Barr. pic.twitter.com/WzekTSqY0f
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) January 28, 2020