(UPDATED) Nuts and Boltons

OK, the stories leaking out of the Bolton Book are juicy, if true. But everything we wrote last night stands.

Axios morning email thingie leads:

John Bolton’s brutal memoir about his 17 months in the White House portrays President Trump as an easy mark for dictators and others who know how easily he falls for flattery.

  • Why it matters: There has never been — and may never be — another book like this. Trump’s national security adviser took hyper-detailed, real-time notes, and is sharing them with the world just nine months after leaving.

But Bolton did NOT share them, even when subpoena’ed by Congress during the impeachment hearing and trial. Bolton confirms the key findings of the impeachment investigation, and writes,

“I am hard pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations.”

Axios continues:

The Justice Department last night asked a federal judge for an emergency temporary restraining order against publication of “The Room Where It Happened,” scheduled for next Tuesday.

  • But it’s too late: Axios and other news organizations already have copies, and reviews and extensive excerpts were posted yesterday.
  • Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview last night that Bolton “is a liar”: “[E]verybody in the White House hated John Bolton.”

And they love you, buddy. But I interrupted.

The most damaging revelations concern the president’s efforts to cozy up to Chinese President Xi Jinping— revealed during an election season when Trump wants to portray himself as tough on China and Biden as a patsy.

  • Bolton said Trump gave Xi the green light to build concentration camps in Xinjiang, and “stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat” to his own re-election.

Handsome Joe Biden last night:

“[M]y message to China’s leaders, or anyone else who President Trump might invite to interfere: … Stay out of our elections.”

Not to be left out, Politico’s morning email thingie:

THE NEW YORK TIMES (Peter Baker, A1, two-column lead), THE WASHINGTON POST (Josh Dawsey, A1, four columns across the top) and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (John Bolton on the Op-Ed page; and Mike Bender and Rebecca Ballhaus on A1, four columns, middle of the page)are all carrying various leaks of JOHN BOLTON’S “The Room Where it Happened,” a book whose release might or might not happen, depending what a judge decides in the coming days.

WE THOUGHT it might be useful to catalogue what BOLTON is claiming in list form, culled from the excellent accounts in the POST, NYT and WSJ:

— PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP asked Chinese President XI JINPING to buy ag products to help him win reelection. “He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome,” BOLTON writes.

— TRUMP seemingly thought it was OK for China to build concentration camps to house 1 million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, and told that to XI. He also told the Chinese leader that Americans want to change the Constitution to have him serve more than two terms.

I’m not shocked by that, per se, he had been “joking” about that since the impeachment investigation started, claiming he was owed a “do-over” for lost time.

— TRUMP was unsure if Finland was part of Russia (it is not). He also did not know that the United Kingdom was a nuclear power (it is).

— VLADIMIR PUTIN compared JUAN GUAIDÓ to HILLARY CLINTON in an apparent bid to boost Venezuelan strongman NICOLÁS MADURO in TRUMP’S eyes. TRUMP thought Guaidó was kid-like compared to MADURO. TRUMP also suggested war in Venezuela would be “cool.”

— TRUMP signaled to Turkish President RECEP TAYYIP ERDOĞAN that he would intervene in a case against a Turkish firm once the DOJ’s Southern District of New York was filled with his allies. Brett McGurk said Erdoğan tried that with Joe Biden and Biden said no.

— SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO slipped BOLTON a note during negotiations with North Korea, saying the president was “so full of shit.” He later said there was “zero probability of success” in negotiating with North Korea. POMPEO listened in to a call between TRUMP and the South Koreans, and toldBOLTON that he was “having a cardiac arrest in Saudi Arabia.” BOLTON said the call was a “near death experience.”

— TRUMP was fixated on getting a copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” to KIM JONG UN.

— THE PRESIDENT tweeted his defense of the Saudis in the Jamal Khashoggi incident because he thought it would distract from IVANKA TRUMP using a private email server.

— BOLTON, JOHN KELLY and POMPEO all considered resigning.

— TRUMP said he thought journalists should be jailed, and executed.

— TRUMP told BOLTON that REX TILLERSON described NIKKI HALEY by what the NYT’s BAKER calls a “sexist obscenity.”

— BOLTON, POMPEO and Defense Secretary MARK ESPER tried to get TRUMP to release aid to Ukraine between eight and 10 times.

— TRUMP thought having JARED KUSHNER deal with Mexico was the only way to stop the “caravans.”

OK, so two things: A) many of these stories, if true, would be grounds for impeachment and 2) Bolton is clearly not a patriot and is doing this for profit. And if I can add a tangential iii) this is indeed the start of his re-hab. Bolton is the catnip that the Villagers are rolling in. Our Failed Political Press is nothing if not predictable.

Read the excerpts, but don’t give Bolton a dime.

UPDATE 1: The Reviews are in! Lord Damp Nut says,

“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!”

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11 Responses to (UPDATED) Nuts and Boltons

  1. Martin Pollard says:

    All of what you say is true, but if I may put forth what’s probably an unpopular view, his testifying in the impeachment hearings wouldn’t have made one bit of difference. The fix was in from the start, as there was no way the Senate was going to convict Bunker Boy, no matter what evidence came to light. But perhaps the book coming out now may help push some undecideds over to the light, as well as people who are just plain sick and tired of Tangerine Caligula’s bullshit but still need a small nudge.

    Liked by 3 people

    • tengrain says:

      Martin –
      No doubt, and not unpopular thinking at all! But it is another Republican profiteering and at the same time trying to stay above the fray.

      There’s even a passage (I’m told) where he blames the Democrats for not doing a better job of impeaching the mother-eff’er, when he wouldn’t participate.

      That takes some brass.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Martin Pollard says:

        Yeah, he definitely has a set of brass ones the size of medicine balls. Greedy schmucks like the Mustache of War don’t deserve to profit off their sleaziness. Let’s just hope that the book winds up having some positive impact; at the very least, we’re no worse off than we were before, right?


      • Dennis Cole says:

        The snippet I saw said he ridiculed them for “pursuing that Ukraine thing,” when they apparently had other situations that WERE out-and-out criminal, that they could have added to bolster their list of “High Crimes & Misdemeanors,” or used instead of what turned out to be a very ineffective offensive attack.

        Of course, the fix was in, and it likely wouldn’t have mattered anyway, but being forced to watch this awful horrible Kabuki-like madness that seems scripted by the 3 Stooges is akin to Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • MDavis says:

        Food for thought.

        Liked by 1 person

    • MDavis says:

      I was thinking, too, as I was reading your comment, that it wouldn’t have changed the impeachment outcomes. The Senate Republicans were still milking that gold plated cow. What’s a little more treason to ignore or defend? Some may even jump on the Bolton bus now, Those that do can now say they bought Bolton’s book and saw the light!
      What might change their minds about trump? He loses the election. So in order to change their minds now, they have to take a gamble, the odds/polls need to really go against trump, mail in ballots need to become the preferred method of voting.
      I doubt that Bolton wants to live in a destabilized country. So the timing of this publication makes a kind of sense. Enough before the election that Republicans have time to read it and form up their squads. Not too much time for rebuttal books. But enough time that if trump loses he can still claim he attempted to draw out Democrat resistance early so that outrage fatigue would set in and suppress the D vote.
      Plus he plans on making a bunch of money, of course.
      Just my opinion, but you knew that.
      (I’m not buying it either, by the way.)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Bolton’s book, which is getting terrible reviews, is a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad.

    Well that will be defense exhibit A-Z in Low Barr’s NDA lawsuit against Nuts and Bolt-on! Can’t violate an NDA if it’s “all made up”.

    (yes Nuts and Bolt-on should be his MPS nick, or at least one of them, because he sure is a tool…)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. MDavis says:

    Here’s a book written by/about Trump. And this one, I might actually buy. Or at least read.

    Looks like Daily Beast has a kind of write up. The Guardian, as well.
    Mary should probably avoid windows and air travel from now on. And tea. And door to door perfume salesmen. But as a PhD she can probably publish if she keeps copious and accurate notes about the fallout from this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dennis Cole says:

    “John (traitor) Bolton should not be allowed to sell a book filled with so many lies, all of which are Top Secret, or marked “Confidential, by the way.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Chris Papalia says:

    Trump is always firing people “like a dog”; in this case “like the sick puppy”. How does any dog owner vote for this clown?


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