White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, who is also assistant to the president, on Sunday, June 21, dismissed former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s allegation that President Donald Trump asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping help him win the 2020 election.

In his soon-to-be-released book, Bolton made a string of damning claims about President Trump’s conduct in office, including that the president pleaded with Xi to help him with his re-election.

“Xi told Trump that the U.S.-China relationship was the most important in the world. He said that some (unnamed) American political figures were making erroneous judgments by calling for a new Cold War with China,” Bolton wrote. “Whether Xi meant to finger the Democrats or some of us sitting on the U.S. side of the table, I don’t know, but Trump immediately assumed that Xi meant the Democrats.”

“Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton added. “He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, speaking at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, denied Bolton’s claims. “Absolutely untrue,” he said. “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.”

Navarro echoed Lighthizer on Sunday, saying that Bolton’s claim was “just silly” given the president’s long-standing tough posture toward the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

“I never heard that. I was in in the room,” Navarro said, adding that Bolton should face consequences for using “highly classified information” in his book.

A federal judge on Saturday allowed the publication of Bolton’s memoir despite concerns it contains classified information, slamming Bolton for having “gambled” with national security.

“This was Bolton’s bet: if he is right and the book does not contain classified information, he keeps the upside mentioned above; but if he is wrong, he stands to lose his profits from the book deal, exposes himself to criminal liability, and imperils national security,” Judge Royce Lamberth said in a ruling. “Bolton was wrong.”

President Trump lauded the ruling as a “BIG COURT WIN against Bolton” after the ruling.

Democrats have chastised Bolton for declining to testify before the House during President Trump’s impeachment and keeping instead information for his tell-all book. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Bolton “indicts himself, for cowardice and for greed” and that it “was only the greed that made him come forward in this book.”

Schiff said on Sunday that House committee chairs and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are discussing whether to have Bolton testify before Congress.

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