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US President Donald Trump has found himself tangled in a legal dispute with his former security advisor, John Bolton. Last week excerpts from the book ‘The Room Where It Happened’ were released to the press, making several shock claims about the president.
Among them include Trump wanting help from China to win re-election; Trump saying building internment camps was the “right thing to do”; the president suggesting he wanted to serve more than the two terms allowed; and that Trump wasn’t aware that the UK was a nuclear power.
Many of the claims paint Trump in a sinister light, while others appear to make him ignorant of the geopolitical global landscape.
Trump filed a request to the US courts asking for the publication of the book to be stopped.
The judge, however, rejected the request, explaining the government had “failed to establish that an injunction would prevent irreparable harm”.
Trump has maintained that the book is “made up of lies and fake stories”.
The president has not yet provided evidence for this.
Many have condemned Mr Bolton’s claims, not so much because they think they are untrue, but because he kept them secret for so long.
Mr Bolton also did not testify against Trump during his impeachment.
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The book deal, with Simon & Schuster, was worth $2million (£1.6m).
Mr Bolton has long been a controversial figure, with disapproval centred on his approach to the US’ military endeavours.
He claimed bombing Iran was justified, called for “regime change in Tehran” and wanted a “very strong answer” to the problem of Russia.
Perhaps most controversially, he supported “striking first” at North Korea.
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In a 2018 Wall Street Journal op-ed, he wrote that: “Given the gaps in US intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute.
“It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.”
His words, added to joint US-South Korea military drills that were taking place at the time, led North Korea to meet Bolton’s rhetoric with its own aggression.
The dictatorship, led by Kim Jong-un, issued two statements warning the US over its actions in the area but, more interestingly, over Bolton and his place within Trump’s administration.
The statement talked of steps towards easing the tension between North Korea and the US, as well as acknowledging Trump’s willingness to terminate the “deep-rooted hostility”.
Yet, it noted: “High-ranking officials of the White House and the Department of State including Bolton, White House national security adviser, are letting loose the assertions of so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment, ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation’, ‘total decommissioning of nuclear weapons, missiles, biochemical weapons’. etc, while talking about formula of ‘abandoning nuclear weapons first, compensating afterwards’.
“This is not an expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue. It is essentially a manifestation of an awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers.
“I cannot suppress indignation at such moves of the US and harbour doubt about the U.S. sincerity for improved DPRK-U.S. relations through sound dialogue and negotiations.”
It added: “We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him.
“If the Trump administration fails to recall the lessons learned from the past when the DPRK-U.S. talks had to undergo twists and setbacks owing to the likes of Bolton and turns its ear to the advice of quasi-‘patriots’ who insist on Libya mode and the like, prospects of upcoming DPRK-U.S. summit and overall DPRK-U.S. relations will be crystal clear.”
The statement was issued in May – just a month before the Singapore summit was intended to go ahead.
The summit went ahead, with Kim committing Pyongyang to “work towards” the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula as well as retracting its hostilities in general.
It wasn’t long before the North broke the promise, however.
Not more than a year later, North Korea fired missiles into the Japanese Sea to warn against “South Korean warmongers”.
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