By Mario Alexis Portella | The mainstream media and many leftwing politicians have been exploiting anticipation of John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir in which the former National Security Advisor makes strong and biased allegations against President Donald Trump.
While it is true Bolton had direct access to numerous meetings and meticulously kept notes of meetings and conversations during his short tenure with the Trump administration, his book seems to come off as a vengeful semi-fictitious novel against someone who fired him for incomptence.
Some of the biggest accusations in John Bolton’s White House tell-all are:
- Trump “pleaded with General Secretary Xi Jinping to”ensure he’d win” re-election by buying more U.S. farm products and at one point called him “the greatest leader in Chinese history.”
- Trump was uninterested in defending Taiwan or Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movements
- Trump told Xi that building prison camps for the Uighur Muslims was “exactly the right thing to do.
If I may present some refutations:
- Trump has called Xi “a great leader” in the past, which is unfortunate—he has proven to be a horrible dictator like Adolf Hitler and Kin Jung-Un. That being said, as explained by Monica Showalter, would it not it be logical that the China would bring this up to damage Trump? It is nearly impossible to believe that Trump would want China’s help in getting re-elected. Knowing Trump as we the people do, Trump would enjoy China’s rage as a means of getting re-elected.
- In regard to Taiwan (officially The Republic of China), not only did President Trump make one of his first phone calls as president to Taiwan’s leaders, something both Beijing and the foreign policy establishment hated, in March he signed the signed the Taiwan Allies and International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act, designed to “support Taiwan’s participation in appropriate international organizations like the World Health Organization, which would help Taiwan respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and be able to share globally its expertise and knowledge in handling this crisis.”
- President Trump signed into law last year the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which provided for regular reports monitoring the status of the rights and freedoms that China under treaty promised to Hong Kong, and penalties if these are found to be violated. The law also suspended supplying the Chinese police in Hong Kong with rubber bullets, tear gas, and other anti-protest gear.
- The accusation that Trump called for the building of the camps to imprison the Uighur Muslims is beyond laughable since the president signed legislation Wednesday that seeks to punish China for its crackdown on Uighurs and other ethnic minorities.
The bill includes sanctions on Chinese Communist officials involved in the mass surveillance and detention of Uighurs and other ethnic groups in the western Xinjiang region. The legislation represents the most significant action to date by any country to punish Communist China for a crackdown in which more than a million people have been detained in camps under harsh conditions.
Let us not forget that Trump has taken direct aim at China. As previously written, under a long-term deal sealed by the Obama administration, a Chinese Communist company was set to control America’s second-largest container port behind the nearby Port of Los Angeles. In an unreported Trump administration victory, in 2019, the Chinese had to withdraw after a drawn-out national security review forced a unit of China-based COSCO Shipping Holdings Co. (Orient Overseas Container Line) to sell the container terminal business, which handles among the largest freight of imports into the U.S.
He has also raised tariffs aimed at pressuring China to cease giving its industries unfair economic advantages and violating the norms and rules of international commerce. While there have been some setbacks, especially with the coronavirus outbreak, Trump has tried to take Communist China on.
While there may be certain elements of truth in Bolton’s claims, those that appear to be the most incriminating appear to be nothing more than twisted half-truths, at best, if not outright falsehoods.
The very fact that even House Representative Adam Schiff questioned Bolton’s credibility in a recent tweet: “Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot,” should be an indicator the The Room Where It Happened is nothing more than gossip to destroy President Trump’s re-election bid—to say nothing of the sales and royalties John Bolton seeks to gain.
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is author of Islam: Religion of Peace – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.