On Thursday’s New Day, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Jim Sciutto, and Mitch Landrieu were very impressed by former National Security Adviser John Bolton's new book, In the Room Where it Happened. Landrieu, a CNN political commentator and former Mayor of New Orleans, declared that the book confirmed the impeachment charges brought against President Trump by the House Democrats.
In his book, Bolton claimed that Trump was attempting to fix the 2020 election with China and that he supported China putting the Uighur Muslims in concentration camps. He said that Trump was only concerned with re-election, and that he begged President Xi to buy substantial amounts of American soybeans and wheat in order for American farmers to view him favorably. Bolton also asserted that Trump was easily manipulated by foreign dictators, and that he would even bestow favors upon those who he likes. Bolton has very little evidence, which he says the Justice Department removed from his book.
Both anchors and Landrieu took Bolton’s claims at face value. However, Bolton would not testify about these claims under oath during congressional impeachment hearings. Camerota insisted that the book should be believed because Bolton does not seem like someone “with just an ax to grind,” despite that Trump and Bolton clearly have a poor relationship.
Landrieu argued that because Bolton had been appointed by Trump, that his claims “aren't Democratic talking points.” Yet, the Democrats have been regurgitating such points since Trump was elected. Despite that Bolton refused to testify under oath, Landrieu claimed that “John Bolton just confirmed what the House alleged some time ago.”
The impeachment trial, however, was not concerned with China. Landrieu even went so far as to reference Bolton’s claim that Trump was attempting to collude with China to win the 2020 election by saying that “this isn't the first time that allegation was made.” The Russian collusion accusations have proven to be a hoax by the release of classified documents in which many of those who pushed the false allegations admitted under oath that there was no evidence of Trump colluding with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Additionally, Democrats such as Adam Schiff testified under oath that they could find no evidence of Trump abusing his power in his dealings with the Ukraine. Yet, CNN is using this book to push the same, debunked narrative.
Camerota, Sciutto, and Landrieu ate up Bolton’s claims about Trump supporting the concentration camps. However, Trump just yesterday signed a bill which will put pressure on China to end the camps and its mistreatment of the Uighur Muslims. This did not stop Camerota from saying that Trump is “in favor of concentration camps.”
Sciutto stated that Trump “asked China for help to be re-elected, specifically, China to buy agricultural products from swing states. The President negotiated a phase I trade deal as he called it, where China did exactly that, at least it promised to, 200 billion dollars in purchases.” However, claiming that the trade deal is election interference is absurd, as the purpose of trade deals is to assist exporters within one’s country.
Here is the full transcript of the June 18th New Day segment:
CNN's New Day
ALISYN CAMEROTA: There are explosive new accusations this morning from President Trump’s former National Security Adviser and a longtime Fox News contributor, John Bolton. In his upcoming book, Bolton calls President Trump, quote, “erratic and stunningly uninformed.” He also accuses the President of requesting election help from China's president. Bolton writes “He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaign, pleading with president XI to ensure that (President Trump) would win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.” Joining us now, CNN political commentator, Mitch Landrieu. Oh boy, Mayor, great to see you. This is not just another book. This goes further than the other books. This is more explicit than the other books. This was the President's National Security Adviser. And he was there. I mean, the book is called In the Room Where it Happened, he was there listening to these conversations. He also says that when President Trump asked President XI to help him win re-election coming up in 2020, that there was a translator and that he would have included that whole transcript verbatim, but that was spiked during the vetting process by the White House or I guess by the State Department. This is in a different category than somebody, it sounds like, with just an ax to grind.
MITCH LANDRIEU (CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR): Well, I think that you know, if you back up a bit, you've had General Mattis, you've had Rex Tillerson, you've had John Kelly, and now you have had John Bolton, all appointed by the President. These aren't Democratic talking points, that have confirmed a pattern and practice of a President who doesn't tell the truth, who abuses his power, who obstructs justice, all for his own personal gain. I mean, what’s shocking about it is that it's not shocking at all, except for the intensity and the depth and the repetition of it. And you know, I’m hoping that the Senators are listening and paying attention to what is going on, because John Bolton just confirmed what the House alleged some time ago.
JIM SCIUTTO: Yeah. Mitch, we want to play some sound here that just came across of John Bolton talking about his book and going explicitly to that question of competence. Have a listen and I want to get your reaction.
[Cuts to video]
JOHN BOLTON: I don't think he's fit for office. I don't think he has the competence to carry out the job. There really isn't any guiding principle that I was able to discern, other than what's good for Donald Trump's re-election.
[Cuts back to live]
SCIUTTO: Two allegations there, not fit, but also that he's running the office of the presidency and making decisions, purely for his own interests. Your reaction?
LANDRIEU: Well, my reaction is this. Every time somebody criticizes the President, he and his team talk about Democratic talking points. This is John Bolton. This is a guy that many people in this country disagree with philosophically on the Democratic side, and yet he continues to repeat what other people who have been close to the President have repeated. I don't know what it's going to take for the Republicans in the Senate to listen to what is being said. He has said that he's incompetent, he doesn't listen, and he uses his power for his own personal use. And that's what was alleged in the impeachment allegations.
CAMEROTA: It gets worse, Mayor. According to John –
LANDRIEU: Can it?
CAMEROTA: It actually does. Because according to John Bolton, President Trump was in favor of concentration camps for the Uighur Muslims. So when President XI was saying that he was considering doing this, imprisoning them, President Trump appeared to give his endorsement. Here's this part of the book: “At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps. According to our interpreter, Trump said that XI should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do. And so, I mean, Mayor, he's in favor of concentration camps. Bolton says that he is easily duped by foreign dictators like Putin. That he falls for the things that they present him with. He asked China for help with the upcoming election. You know, as you know, lawmakers have already impeached him. What are they supposed to do now with all of this information?
LANDRIEU: Well, first of all, that's outrageous that the President did that. That is antithetical to everything that America stands for and he should be ashamed of himself for doing it. Secondly, the House did file articles of impeachment and the number of Senators did not respond. Notwithstanding the fact that they had overwhelming evidence. John Bolton should have testified during that hearing. And I'm not happy and America should not be happy that he didn't. But this book now reveals that again, we only have one more chance. And that is to take the power back and we're going to have to do that through the ballot box. I hope again that American citizens are listening to the people that Donald Trump himself appointed, who have clearly stated time and time again, this is a man that does not tell the truth. He abuses the power of the presidency, and he does it for his own personal gain. That is the book, that's the story. And In the Room Where it Happened, that’s exactly what has been heard time again and time again by everybody that has worked for him.
SCIUTTO: Yeah, a consistent story. I want to ask you about the election here. He asked China for help to be re-elected, specifically, China to buy agricultural products from swing states. The President negotiated a phase I trade deal as he called it, where China did exactly that, at least it promised to, 200 billion dollars in purchases. I just wonder, can you argue that that corrupts the coming election? In that the president asked -- made that request and then China seemed to follow through? We don't know what he gave China in return.
LANDRIEU: I don't know that, but the President of the United States should not be working with a foreign government to interfere with or to manipulate American elections. That is against the law. And it's wrong. And of course, this isn't the first time that allegation was made. And it's not only about China. And so again, John Bolton confirms patterns and practices that we've seen from this president since almost the day he walked into office. And so the American people are the ones who are going to have to decide. That is the only thing that is left in terms of whether or not we want to take power back, that the President has obviously abused for his own personal interests. And it's clear, and the case, as far as I'm concerned is shut. Now it's just time to vote and exercise our power to regain America's place in the world.
CAMEROTA: Mayor Mitch Landrieu, we really appreciate you coming in with your perspective on all of this.