Former National Security Adviser John Bolton writes in his new memoir, The Room Where It Happened, that he would love to print President Trump's "exact words, but the government's prepublication review process has decided otherwise." Having seen some unredacted passages from the manuscript, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman understands why the White House is trying so hard to keep the book from seeing the light of day.
Some of Trump's words, Sherman writes, are "deeply embarrassing and illustrate Trump's naked politicization of American foreign policy." The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that in The Room Where It Happened, set for release on June 23, Bolton says that during a summit last June, Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to purchase more American farm products to help him get re-elected in November.
According to the unredacted passage shown to Vanity Fair, Trump allegedly said to Xi, "Make sure I win. I will probably win anyway, so don't hurt my farms. ... Buy a lot of soybeans and wheat and make sure we win." Bolton also claims that before the summit, Trump spoke to Xi on the phone and said, "I miss you." He purportedly added, "This is totally up to you, but the most popular thing I've ever been involved with is making a deal with China. ... Making a deal with China would be a very popular thing for me."
Sherman writes that in a separate passage, Bolton states that during a meeting about Iran strategy, Trump suddenly started talking about a right-wing conspiracy that black South Africans are killing white South African farmers and seizing their land. Bolton alleges that Trump declared he wanted to grant white South Africans "asylum and citizenship."
The Trump administration has said The Room Where It Happened contains top secret information, and on Wednesday, the Department of Justice sought an emergency order to block its publication, claiming it "will damage the national security of the United States."