Trump, WH Hit Back Hard on Bolton Book Claims - 'Timing Is Very, Very Suspect'


Timing is everything.

As a story published in The New York Times on Sunday night opened new questions about the impeachment case against President Donald Trump, Trump and his White House team wasted no time in striking back — on social media and on television.

And the theme was clear — the alleged revelations in The Times report came at a strikingly good time to boost sales for former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s White House memoir: Amazon preorders of “The Room Where It Happened” became available shortly after The Times’ story broke.

“I think the timing of all this is very, very suspect,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Monday, noting that it came right after the president’s defense team in his Senate impeachment trial had just scored huge points against the Democratic case.

“Our team just went on Saturday and … it’s very clear the president did nothing wrong, and then suddenly this manuscript has magically appeared in the hands of The New York Times making very, very big claims,” Grisham said.

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According to The Times, Bolton’s book claims that Trump told Bolton directly that he was holding up military aid to Ukraine until the country’s president agreed to an investigation that could hurt former Vice President Joe Biden’s bid to unseat Trump in the 2020 election.

The Times report contained no quotes from the manuscript itself.

The fact that Amazon preorders for Bolton’s book became available just as The Times story was hitting the headlines Sunday just made it all a little too convenient, Grisham said.

Trump himself, in a tweet Sunday night shortly after the Bolton story broke, was just as adamant.

If The Times’ account of Bolton’s book was true, the president said, “it was only to sell a book.”

Watch: Anti-Trump John Bolton Tells CNN He Won't Vote Trump or Biden, Reveals Name He Voted for in 2020 Who'll Be His Pick Now

Bolton left the White House on Sept. 10 under disputed circumstances — He maintains he resigned, while Trump has said Bolton was fired.

But it’s worth noting that, though Bolton’s departure received extensive news coverage at the time, most of the accounts mentioned his disagreements with Trump over foreign policy matters as they related to Afghanistan, Iran, Russia or North Korea — just about any country other than the one that’s making the headlines now — Ukraine. (The Times’ account of Bolton’s removal, for instance, never mentioned the word “Ukraine.”)

Do you think the Bolton book story will lengthen the Senate impeachment trial?

Yet, after the Adam Schiff-led Democrats put on a dismal showing last week in the Senate impeachment trial of a president they loathe, and just as it seemed likely this week that a Senate acquittal was all but inevitable, the Trump-hating Times comes out with a story that features Ukraine prominently as a cause of Bolton’s discontent with his White House days.

It’s a story that couldn’t help but boost Bolton’s book sales, hinder the president’s defense in the Senate trial — and lead to histrionics from easily excitable Trump political opponents such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

And it broke with almost exquisite timing — at a moment when it could to maximum damage to the White House politically and revive what was widely considered a faltering Democratic offensive.

Sure, it could be a coincidence, and every word in The Times report could be gospel truth (for the first time during the Trump administration).

But the timing, as Grisham put it, is “very, very suspect.”

And timing, as they say, is everything.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.