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Bolton Warned Barr About Trump’s Cozy Ties to Dictators, Book Claims

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here. As the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump lurches on, there’s more drama stemming from John Bolton’s yet-to-be-released book. The New York Times reported on Monday that the former national security adviser’s forthcoming book contains his recollection of a conversation with…

Bolton Warned Barr About Trump’s Cozy Ties to Dictators, Book Claims

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As the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump lurches on, there’s more drama stemming from John Bolton’s yet-to-be-released book.

The New York Times reported on Monday that the former national security adviser’s forthcoming book contains his recollection of a conversation with Attorney General William Barr, in which Bolton told Barr that he thought Trump was “effectively granting personal favors” to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Turkish President Recep Erdoğan.

Barr responded by mentioning Justice Department investigations into Turkish and Chinese companies, and told Bolton that Trump’s communications with Erdoğan and Xi had created the appearance that Trump was trying to influence an independent investigation, according to the Times.

In a late-night statement issued following the publication of the story, the Justice Department essentially threw Bolton under the bus and denied everything:

Reached for comment, the White House directed VICE News to the Justice Department’s statement.

Previous reporting on Bolton’s manuscript from Monday indicated that Trump told Bolton that military aid to Ukraine was tied to that country’s willingness to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, a central claim of the impeachment trial. On Monday, Trump said Bolton’s allegations were untrue and that he was saying them “only to sell a book.”

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