John Bolton’s new book, “The Room Where It Happened,” is getting the usual press treatment of insider anti-Trump books, with excerpts and tidbits being used to launch a thousand headlines and cable news segments. If it follows the template set by previous insider books by James Comey, Michael Wolff, and Anonymous, we expect that there will be a flurry of shock and feigned fury followed (very quickly) by everyone completely forgetting that the book exists in the first place.
This particular book may disappear sooner than most, given that the left hates Bolton almost as much as they hate Trump.
In the meantime, Trump’s allies are sounding off on the former national security adviser. In a statement this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Bolton, saying he’d done nothing less than betray his country.
“From the excerpts I’ve seen published, John Bolton is spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods,” said Pompeo. “It is both sad and dangerous that John Bolton’s final public role is that of a traitor who damaged America by violating his sacred trust with its people.”
Among the more salacious claims in his book, Bolton asserts that President Trump leaned on Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win re-election by purchasing more farm products from the United States. In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said there was no truth to that claim.
“Absolutely untrue, never happened. I was there, I have no recollection of that ever happening. I don’t believe it’s true, I don’t believe it ever happened,” Lighthizer said. “Would I have recollected something as crazy as that? Of course I would.”
Tweeting about Bolton’s revelations on Thursday, President Trump said that readers should take the claims with an enormous grain of salt.
“Bolton’s book, which is getting terrible reviews, is a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad. Many of the ridiculous statements he attributes to me were never made, pure fiction. Just trying to get even for firing him like the sick puppy he is!” he wrote.
Trump went further, accusing Bolton of throwing the administration’s national security agenda off course.
“When Wacko John Bolton went on Deface the Nation and so stupidly said that he looked at the ‘Libyan Model’ for North Korea, all hell broke out. Kim Jong Un, who we were getting along with very well, went ‘ballistic’, just like his missiles – and rightfully so. He didn’t want Bolton anywhere near him. Bolton’s dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, ‘what the hell were you thinking?’ He had no answer and just apologized. That was early on, I should have fired him right then & there!”
Yeah. Probably should have never hired him in the first place…