Even as “president” Donald Trump vehemently denies that he ever told John Bolton why he was withholding Ukraine aid, additional information has leaked from the Bolton transcript. According to the New York Times, Bolton expressed to Attorney General Bill Barr his concern that Trump was “granting personal favors” to Xi Jinping and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. According to Bolton, Barr admitted he had the same concern. Yet, they both sat silent in their fears and allowed Trump to do whatever he pleased. While Bolton’s information is helpful, it boggles the mind to think he was really in fear of Trump’s National Security Council yet did nothing about them. We’ve known for some time that Barr was this corrupt, but Bolton is a huge disappointment.
Bolton was long gone at the time of the Syrian pullout (he was fired in September 2019); however, you would think that, as national security adviser, he had to know of Trump’s plans. If he knew for a fact that Trump’s actions were the result of some underhanded deal with Turkish Erdoğan, how could he sit idly by and allow Trump to carry out his plans to abandon the Kurds? It could well be that a clash over this very issue is at the root of Bolton’s ouster. The Guardian published a story about Bolton’s firing on September 11 in which it was alleged that “internal divisions” were ongoing and that Trump “disagreed strongly” with Bolton. It certainly makes sense that this “strong” disagreement included Trump’s Syrian plans.
With respect to China, the allegations involve a Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE. According to Bolton’s manuscript, Barr commented that he too had concerns that Trump “created the appearance of having improper influence over investigations involving companies” in both China and Turkey. Such involvement is really no surprise. Ever since stealing the presidency, Trump has done everything as president but his job. Involving himself in investigations surrounding foreign companies has little, if anything, to do with that job.
Trump sees the presidency as a bargaining tool for his own purposes, not for any reason that could or would benefit the United States or its citizens. He seems to liken the presidency to running the Trump Organization, and we know how well he has done with the latter. Unfortunately, we are seeing his poor negotiation skills as it relates to our country as well.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years