Donald Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton has made a series of explosive allegations against the president in his new book, describing Trump as “stunningly uninformed”.
The US justice department has filed an emergency restraining order against Bolton in a bid to block the book, ‘The Room Where It Happened’, claiming it could cause “serious damage” to national security.
But parts of the book have already been leaked to US newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Among Bolton’s allegations is one that the president was unaware the UK was a nuclear power.
Here’s a round-up of the biggest claims from the book so far:
The president ‘didn’t know the UK was a nuclear power ’
The UK is supposed to be one of the USA’s closest allies – but Bolton claims Trump wasn’t even aware the nation is a nuclear power.
According to the Washington Post, Bolton alleges that in a meeting with then-prime minister Theresa May in 2018, a British official referred to the UK as a “nuclear power”.
Trump then asked: “Oh, are you a nuclear power?” Bolton insists that the comment “was not intended as a joke”.
Trump thought Finland was part of Russia
According to Bolton, geography isn’t the president’s strong suit either.
In the book, he reportedly alleges that Trump once asked whether Finland – which is home to around 5.5 million people – was part of Russia.
Trump asked China’s president for a favour to boost his reelection chances
But it is not just Trump’s blunders that are chronicled in Bolton’s new book – there are some more serious allegations.
The former national security adviser claims that Trump asked Chinese president Xi Jinping to help him win reelection in 2020 by purchasing agricultural products from key US. states.
In an excerpt of his book published in The Wall Street Journal, Bolton wrote that the president was “pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win” during a summit meeting in Japan last summer.
Bolton wrote: “Trump commingled the personal and the national not just on trade questions but across the whole field of national security.
“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations.”
Trump praised China’s internment camps for Muslims
The alleged discussion about reelection is not the only interaction between Trump and Xi that Bolton describes in the book though.
The Associated Press reported that the book describes a White House Christmas dinner in 2018, during which Trump asked why the USA was sanctioning China over its treatment of Uighurs Muslims.
China suspects Uighurs, who are predominantly Muslim and culturally and ethnically distinct from the majority Han Chinese population, of harbouring separatist tendencies.
In recent years, China has dramatically escalated its campaign against them by detaining more than one million people in internment camps and prisons, which China calls vocational training centres, AP reported.
“At the opening dinner of the Osaka G20 meeting, with only interpreters present, Mr Xi explained to Mr Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang,” Bolton wrote.
“According to our interpreter, Mr Trump said that Mr Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which he thought was exactly the right thing to do.”
Trump was desperate to give Kim Jong Un an Elton John CD
According to Bolton, Trump was desperate to get a signed copy of Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un following a visit to the country.
The president had used the term ‘little rocket man’ to criticise Kim, but had later tried to convince him it was a term of affection.
Trump wanted secretary of state Mike Pompeo to deliver the CD to Kim during a follow-up visit to the country.
“Getting this CD to Kim remained a high priority for several months,” Bolton wrote, according to the Washington Post.
Trump threatened to pull the US out of Nato
Bolton also wrote that at a Nato summit in 2018, Trump had decided to tell allies the US would pull out of the group if other countries did not increase their defence spending.
Bolton claims the president told him: “We will walk out, and not defend those who have not (paid).”
However, Trump ultimately did not make such a dramatic threat, with the US staying in the alliance.