Former White House National Security Advisor John BoltonJohn Bolton Defense overnight: resignation of senior Pentagon tech officials | Bolton concerned about biological weapons | Trump threatens ‘serious force’ Bolton says he would consider testifying against Barr Hoyer wants Bolton’s testimony MORE accused President TrumpDonald John Trump Bowman has a double-digit lead over Engel in New York. McGrath leads Booker in Kentucky with results expected next week New York Republican Chris Jacobs wins special election to replace Chris Collins MORE to ignore the early warning signs of the coronavirus pandemic due to a potential impact it could have had on a trade deal with China.
“I think there is an empty chair in the Oval Office, because the president did not want to hear bad news about his friend Xi Jinping,” Bolton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday in “The Situation Room,” referring to the Chinese president.
“I did not want to hear bad news about the cover-up of the virus in China, or its potential effect on China’s long-awaited trade deal.” And I didn’t want to hear about the potential impact of a pandemic on the US economy and its effect on his re-election, “Bolton added. “Turning a blind eye to all of these early signals I think hampered the country’s ability to deal with this, and continues to do so.”
Bolton’s interview with CNN followed the release of his book, titled “The Room Where It Happened,” about his time at the Trump White House.
Bolton left the White House in September 2019, months before news of the virus that originated in Wuhan was released.
When asked if he was confident in Trump’s handling of the virus, Bolton told CNN “I don’t.”
“I am afraid that the erratic nature of the policies as they evolved since January, when experts really began to feel that this problem might have existed, has characterized our response at all times. And I am concerned that it will continue to be the pattern that the President Go on, “he said.” It is not part of a comprehensive strategy. I think that in a country the size of the United States, state and local authorities should play an important role, but at the federal level, the response has not been consistent. ”
A White House official was not immediately available for comment.
In Bolton’s book, he also alleges that the President requested Jinping’s help for reelection.
Bolton has been criticized by both parties for the release of his book. The Trump administration attempted to block the book’s release, while many Democrats criticized it for publishing the memoirs after refusing to testify as part of the House impeachment investigation last year.
A federal judge denied the administration’s request to block publication of the book.