Bolton reportedly writes Trump asked him to help pressure Ukraine in May meeting with Cipollone

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has even more bombshells to offer in his upcoming book.

Not long before President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial was set to resume Friday, The New York Times reported that in Bolton’s book, he alleges Trump in May 2019 directed him to help with a Ukraine pressure campaign. This would have been two months before Trump’s infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he pushed for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

Bolton reportedly writes that during an Oval Office meeting also attended by Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Trump told him “to call Volodymyr Zelensky, who had recently won election as president of Ukraine, to ensure Mr. Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the president sought.” Bolton writes he did not end up making the call.

The Times notes this would be the “earliest known instance” of Trump taking steps as part of a pressure campaign against Ukraine that would ultimately result in his impeachment. This follows a previous Times report that Bolton in his book writes that Trump said he wanted to continue holding up aid to Ukraine until it investigated the Bidens.

Giuliani on Friday denied that Cipollone and Mulvaney were ever involved in conversations having to do with Ukraine, telling the Times Bolton’s account is “absolutely, categorically untrue.” Trump is also denying the report, saying in a statement, “I never instructed John Bolton to set up a meeting for Rudy Giuliani, one of the greatest corruption fighters in America and by far the greatest mayor in the history of N.Y.C., to meet with President Zelensky. That meeting never happened.” Brendan Morrow

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