Should claims made in Bolton's new book be trusted?

WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 25, 2020, 11.04 PM(IST)

US President Donald Trump (L), John Bolton (R). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Trump has been fairly obsessed with Russia. And his reasons were completely different.

For those who have closely followed US President Donald Trump's journey to the top, China has not been the most heard word.

There was a time when another word followed Trump closely -- Russia!!!

Trump has been fairly obsessed with Russia. And his reasons were completely different.

Some believe Trump allegedly had Russia interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In other words, he took help from Russia to win the race to the White House.

A Mueller probe was conducted into this, which only sparked more questions than it answered.

Four years on, elections are round the corner again. And so are reports of foreign meddling.

Apparenty, the US President is again seeking foreign help.

There's talk of another country. 

This time it is China -- a country that gave the world 'kung flu'.

Trump only came up with this name -- at an election rally.

In the aftermath, Trump's former national security advisor John Bolton has claimed that he had asked China President Xi Jinping to help him secure 2020 elections.

Bolton was once a part of the Trump administration, and now is his biggest critic. He has come up with a tell-all book on his White House days -- 'The room where it happened: a White House memoir'.

As the title suggests, this book is a first-hand account of everything that happened inside the White House. It provides an arsenal of ammunition to hurl at the president till November.

The biggest charge is that Trump allegedly sought cover assistance for his re-election bid from Xi Jinping.

"He -- Donald Trump -- then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win."

There's some proof to the validity of this statement.

Trump's dealings with China go back to pre-White House years.

In 2008, he signed a deal with the Chinese Evergrande group. In 2012, Trump inked a deal for developing a property in Beijing. Around 2016, he reportedly wanted to build Trump hotels in 20 to 30 Chinese cities.

And in 2017, Trump roped in two Chinese companies to construct a golf resort in Dubai.

This history clearly involves a lot of money too. And a lot of it was apparently coming from the Bank of China.

It reportedly supplied a large funding for Trump's real-estate deals. But does a history of business with China make trump guilty of aiding election interference?

Or should one look at how the behaviour of Trump's White House has been towards China.

Since Trump entered the White House, he has been pretty harsh on Beijing. Experts say Trump has single-handedly changed the geo-political tactics.

From declaring a trade war on China and banning Huawei to calling COVID-19 a Chinese virus, Trump has spared no opportunity to take on China. He recently punished China by eliminating Washington's special treatment of Hong Kong.

Trump also sanctioned Chinese officials responsible for running Uighur camps in Xinjiang. He went to the extent of claiming that China wants him to lose the 2020 race.

In short, we still cannot be sure how true Bolton's claims in the book are.
 

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