John Bolton claims Donald Trump sought re-election help from China and promised favours to Erdogan

US leader alleged to have linked Chinese wheat and soybean purchases to election outcome


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Democrats in the US House of Representatives are mulling their next steps following the revelations claimed in former national security advisor John Bolton's book, including that US President Donald Trump sought help from China to get reelected.

In a statement on Thursday, the House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff, who was in charge of the impeachment of Mr Trump in 2019, said consultations are under way to determine the next steps.

"In the coming days, we will be consulting with the Speaker and other chairs,” Mr Schiff said, while committing to hold the US President accountable.

“If these new allegations are accurate, it is further proof that Trump’s coercion of Ukraine, for which he was impeached, is part of a persistent pattern by Trump of abusing his position and misusing the powers of the US government to seek personal and political benefits from foreign governments” the statement read.

But it is unclear what the Democrats will do at this stage beyond issuing a subpoena for Mr Bolton. The US President has called him a liar, and some Democrats are faulting him for not testifying to Congress during impeachment.

Claims in the book include that Mr Trump pleaded with China's leader, Xi Jinping, for help to be re-elected and promised Turkey's president that he would intervene in a US judicial case against a major Turkish state lender, a new book claims.

The US president is also alleged to have called former Republican president George W Bush “stupid”.

Excerpts of the book, The Room Where it Happened, a White House Memoir, were published on Wednesday in US newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times  and The Wall Street Journal.

Mr Trump met the Chinese premier at a summit last June in Japan.

Mr Bolton writes that he "stunningly turned the conversation to the US presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win".

(FILES) In this file photo US President Donald Trump (L) gestures next to China's President Xi Jinping during a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. Donald Trump pleaded with China's leader Xi Jinping for help to win re-election in 2020, the US president's former aide John Bolton writes in an explosive new book, according to excerpts published June 17. / AFP / Nicolas ASFOURI / TO GO WITH AFP STORY by AFP bureaux, with Herve Rouach, "Trump, Syria and Facebook: the volatile cocktail of the 2010s"
Donald Trump pleaded with China's leader Xi Jinping for help to win re-election in 2020, John Bolton writes in an explosive new book. AFP

Mr Trump stressed the importance of American farmers and how "increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat" could affect the election result in the US.

“During a one-on-one meeting at the June 2019 Group of 20 summit in Japan, Xi complained to Trump about China critics in the United States,” Mr Bolton writes.

He says Mr Trump immediately assumed Mr Xi meant the Democrats.

“I would print Trump’s exact words but the government’s pre-publication review process has decided otherwise,” said Mr Bolton, who is facing a lawsuit from the Department of Justice to block the book's publication.

He claims Mr Trump assured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he would intervene personally to end a lawsuit in New York against major Turkish lender Halkbank.

In May 2018, Mr Erdogan handed Mr Trump a memo proclaiming the innocence of Halkbank, Mr Bolton writes.

Turkey’s state-owned bank is charged with embezzlement, conspiracy, money laundering, fraud and helping Iran to evade sanctions.

“Trump then told Erdogan he would take care of things, explaining that the Southern District prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people,” Mr Bolton writes.

He says he was frustrated with Mr Trump’s willingness to appease autocrats and requested a meeting with Attorney General William Barr in 2019 to discuss the matter.

But CNN reported that Mr Barr, under instructions from the president, personally led an effort to negotiate a settlement with the bank that would have allowed it to avoid an indictment after pressure from Mr Erdogan.

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) take part in a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2019. President Donald Trump greeted his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House for a high-stakes meeting Wednesday that underlined his claim to be ignoring the impeachment drama unfolding simultaneously in Congress. / AFP / JIM WATSON
US President Donald Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) take part in a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2019. AFP 

Mr Bolton writes that the US president wanted to withdraw from the Middle East and Afghanistan, saying: “I want to get out of everything."

Mr Trump, whose administration has been negotiating with the Taliban, blames Mr Bush for America’s difficulties in Afghanistan.

“This was done by a stupid person named George Bush,” he said.

The book paints a picture of infighting and backstabbing among Mr Trump’s circle of advisers, and claims the president had problems with basic international facts.

“He did not seem to know, for example, that Britain is a nuclear power and asked if Finland is part of Russia,” Mr Bolton writes.

The book is scheduled for release in the US on Tuesday.