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    The Room Where It Happened

    The Room Where It Happened

    The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir is a memoir by John Bolton, who served as National Security Advisor for U.S. President Donald Trump from April 2018 to September 2019.[2][3] Bolton was reportedly paid an advance of $2 million.[4]

    In late December 2019, one copy of the manuscript was provided to the White House for standard pre-publication review. In late January 2020, during the Senate impeachment trial, news of the book broke. Bolton's team was surprised that multiple copies of the manuscript had apparently been made and circulated.[5][6] Leaked information about the book's contents increased the pressure for having Bolton testify in the Senate trial of Trump.[7]

    According to Bolton's original draft manuscript, William Barr and Bolton had a conversation about concerns Trump had appeared to have undue influence over two US Justice Department investigations of companies in China and Turkey; specifically regarding China's paramount leader Xi Jinping with regard to ZTE and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with regard to Halkbank.[8][9][10] Bolton alleged that Trump, in an attempt to win re-election in agricultural states in the 2020 election, "[pleaded] with Xi to ensure he'd win. [Trump] stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome". (Bolton also wrote that he wanted to directly quote Trump, but could not due to "the government's pre-publication review process".) He also stated that Trump asked if Finland was a part of Russia, and was unaware the United Kingdom is a nuclear power. Bolton alleged Trump intervened in U.S. law enforcement and practiced "obstruction of justice as a way of life."[11][12]

    On June 16, 2020, the Trump administration sought to block release of the book by Simon & Schuster,[13] contending that Bolton had breached nondisclosure agreements he signed as a condition of his employment and that the book endangered national security.[4] U.S. federal judge Royce Lamberth denied this request on June 20.[4] On June 21, pirated copies of the book appeared online.[14] The book was released on June 23.[15] Later that summer, the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into whether the book revealed classified information, empaneling a grand jury that subpoenaed the publisher's communications records.[16]

    The book takes its name from the song "The Room Where It Happens" from the musical Hamilton.[17]

    Content[edit]

    In the book, Bolton claims that:

    United States[edit]

    China[edit]

    Korea[edit]

    Europe[edit]

    Middle East[edit]

    Venezuela[edit]

    Publication and release[edit]

    On March 3, 2020, Simon & Schuster pushed back the release date from March 17 to May 12, saying that the "new date reflects the fact that the government [pre-publication security] review of the work is ongoing".[31] On April 29, the release date was pushed from May 12 to June 23 and the book length was increased from 528 to 576 pages.[32] On June 17, 2020, The Washington Post and The New York Times published excerpts from the book after having obtained pre-publication copies,[18][11] and The Wall Street Journal published an "exclusive excerpt" from the book with a byline by John Bolton.[19] On June 21, a pirated copy of the book appeared online.[14] On June 23, the book was released as scheduled.[15] In its first week, the book sold 780,000 copies.[33]

    Trump administration responses[edit]

    As Trump faced an impeachment trial that raised the possibility Bolton might provide testimony, the White House on January 23 issued a formal threat to stop Bolton from publishing his book, citing national security concerns.[34] Bolton had submitted his manuscript to the National Security Council for security review in December 2019, and after months of discussions, was told on April 27 by Ellen Knight—the NSC's senior director for prepublication review—that no other classification issues remained. However, the White House did not provide Bolton written notice that he could proceed with publication, and in May another NSC official, Michael Ellis, was assigned to further review the manuscript.[13][35] Knight is a career NSC staffer, while Ellis was acting at the direction of Trump political appointees under national security advisor Robert O'Brien. The Trump administration asserted that Bolton did not inform it of his decision to proceed with publication, while Bolton asserts he was not advised of the second review by Ellis.[35]

    On June 16, 2020—after the book had been shipped to distribution warehouses awaiting official release the following week—the Trump administration filed a civil lawsuit against Bolton in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging breach of contract for failing to submit his manuscript for prepublication security review, seeking to confiscate his $2 million advance, asserting the manuscript was "rife with classified information."[36] The next day, the Department of Justice filed an emergency application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Bolton, "seeking to enjoin publication of a book containing classified information."[37] By that day, media outlets had acquired copies of the book and had begun publishing articles on its contents.[38][11]

    Several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, PEN American Center, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Association of American Publishers, Dow Jones & Company, The New York Times Company, and The Washington Post filed amicus briefs opposing the motion for a temporary restraining order.[39][40][41] Simon & Schuster released a statement calling the lawsuit "nothing more than the latest in a long running series of efforts by the Administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the President" and an attempt to infringe Bolton's "First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the White House to the American public".[42]

    Bolton's attorney, Chuck Cooper, asserted that the White House was slow-walking the review process to prevent the book, which contained extensive harsh criticism of Trump, from being released during the 2020 election campaign. Cooper had written to Knight when he submitted the manuscript in December, to recount a phone conversation they'd had, stating, "it is our understanding that the process of reviewing submitted materials is restricted to those career government officials and employees regularly charged with responsibility for such reviews. Accordingly, we understand that the contents of Ambassador Bolton's manuscript will not be reviewed or otherwise disclosed to any persons not regularly involved in that process." His letter also noted that, per Bolton's 2018 agreement with the government, there was a 30 working-day limit for the prepublication review.[43] Trump asserted the book contained "highly classified" information but also characterized the book as "pure fiction."

    In its June 17 brief filed with the court, the Justice Department provided six examples of what it asserted were classified items that remained in the book, including some characterized as "exceptionally restricted," meaning they could jeopardize intelligence sources and methods. Trump had previously asserted that every conversation with him is "highly classified," and Bolton stated in his book that the prepublication review prohibited him from quoting the president's exact words but not from characterizing what Trump said. For example, Bolton characterized Trump as "pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win" the 2020 election, while Vanity Fair—citing the original manuscript it had seen—showed Bolton quoted Trump telling Xi, "Make sure I win" and "I will probably win anyway, so don't hurt my farms.… Buy a lot of soybeans and wheat and make sure we win."[44][45][46][11]

    During a hearing on June 19, Justice Lamberth castigated Bolton for proceeding to publish his book without formal clearance, but expressed doubt he could block publication. A Justice Department attorney acknowledged that Ellis had received no training in reviewing classified information until that month, and that as many as half of the items Ellis had marked as classified may not have been so when Bolton wrote his manuscript, and Ellis' review was the first time they were flagged.[47][48][49][11][35][50][51] Both Lamberth and Cooper noted that while the Justice Department provided an affidavit from Ellis in its brief, it did not include any statement from Knight. After the hearing, which was held via video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lamberth reviewed the Justice Department evidence in a closed-door session.[52]

    On June 20, Judge Lamberth ruled that "Bolton likely published classified materials" and "has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability," but denied the government's motion for a temporary restraining order, as "the government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm."[53][4][54][55] Lamberth elaborated: "While Bolton's unilateral conduct raises grave national security concerns, the government has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy. For reasons that hardly need to be stated, the Court will not order nationwide seizure and destruction of a political memoir."[4] Cooper welcomed the "decision by the Court denying the Government's attempt to suppress Ambassador Bolton's book" but disagreed "with the Court's preliminary conclusion at this early stage of the case that Ambassador Bolton did not comply fully with his contractual prepublication obligation to the Government."[4] Cooper had argued before Lamberth the previous day that the particular version of the agreement Bolton had signed did not require that he receive written clearance to proceed to publication.[47]

    In September 2020, Knight asserted that her decisions about what in the book should be deemed classified were overridden by White House officials, notably legal advisors close to the president. She claimed she was forced out of the NSC after she declined to sign a statement that would support a government lawsuit against Bolton for publishing his book without White House authorization.[56][57]

    Lamberth ruled on October 1 that the government suit could proceed, rejecting the defense argument that a close parsing of Bolton's nondisclosure agreements showed they required he be aware he was publishing classified information to be charged and that Knight's verbal assurances established that he was not aware.[58]

    The Justice Department dropped its criminal inquiry of Bolton in June 2021 and moved to end efforts to confiscate proceeds from his book.[59]

    Reactions[edit]

    On June 22, South Korea took issue with Bolton's account of events surrounding the 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit, with South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong saying that "[u]nilaterally publishing consultations made based on mutual trust violates the basic principles of diplomacy and could severely damage future negotiations."[60]

    On June 18, 2020, during an ABC News interview, Bolton gave his rebuttal to Trump's previous tweets in which Trump called him a "wacko" and a "sick puppy" and that Bolton's book is "a compilation of lies and made up stories" by saying that "[t]he president isn't worried about foreign governments reading this book. He's worried about the American people reading this book."[61]

    Turkey criticized Bolton's book, saying it included misleading accounts of conversations between Trump and Turkish President Erdoğan.[62]

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Bolton of being a "traitor". Pompeo claimed that "from the excerpts I've seen published, John Bolton is spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths and outright falsehoods … I was in the room too."[63]

    Bolton used the title of one of the musical Hamilton's songs, The Room Where It Happens, as the title of his book. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical, reacted by posting the rewritten lyrics of another Hamilton song on Twitter: "Let me tell you what I wish I'd known/When I was young and dreamed of glory/You have no control/Who lives, who dies, who [borrows your song title to write a cash-in book when they could have testified before Congress] tells your story...".[64]

    Reviews[edit]

    German author Klaus Brinkbäumer, a New York-based contributor to the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, criticized the book as "cowardly [and] stupid... So submissive and vain; and apolitical, so amazingly unhistorical and unintelligent." Brinkbäumer goes on to say that the book only exists due to the $2 million advance payment Bolton received.[65]

    The New York Times book review by Jennifer Szalai called the book "exceedingly tedious and slightly unhinged", 500 pages of "minute and often extraneous details" and "bloated with self-importance".[66]

    The Guardian book review by Peter Conrad said it was a "punchy but self-aggrandising memoir" and that, "[d]espite the promise of the book’s title, Bolton was not in the room during Trump’s extended confab with Putin in Helsinki, from which Putin emerged as cockily as a strutting bantam while Trump stumbled out like a trodden hen with ruffled feathers."[67]

    See also[edit]

    References[edit]

    Footnotes[edit]

    External links[edit]

    Yazı kaynağı : en.wikipedia.org

    The Room Where It Happened

    the room where it happened

    Book Review: John Bolton’s ‘The Room Where It Happened’ - The New York Times

    Book Review: John Bolton’s ‘The Room Where It Happened’ - The New York Times

    In June 2019, Iran had shot down an unmanned American drone, and Bolton, who has always championed what he proudly calls “disproportionate response,” pushed Trump to approve a series of military strikes in retaliation. You can sense Bolton’s excitement when he describes going home “at about 5:30” for a change of clothes because he expected to be at the White House “all night.” It’s therefore an awful shock when Trump decided to call off the strikes at the very last minute, after learning they would kill as many as 150 people. “Too many body bags,” Trump told him. “Not proportionate.”

    Bolton still seems incensed at this unexpected display of caution and humanity on the part of Trump, deeming it “the most irrational thing I ever witnessed any President do.” In the book, Bolton is vague about the targets themselves, though it was later reported that he wanted one of them to be the Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani, killed on Jan. 3 by American airstrikes, four months after Bolton left the administration. On Jan. 6, Bolton finally agreed to testify at the impeachment trial if the Republican-controlled Senate subpoenaed him — which, as predicted, it never did.

    As for what Bolton might have said at the trial, his chapter on Ukraine is weird, circuitous and generally confounding. It’s full of his usual small-bore detail, but on the bigger, more pointed questions, the sentences get windy and conspicuously opaque. He confirms what Fiona Hill, a White House aide, recalled him saying to her when she testified at the House impeachment hearings (including his memorable comparison of Rudolph Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, to a “hand grenade”). But Bolton declines to offer anything comparatively vivid in his own book, taking cover in what he depicts as his own bewilderment.

    He recalls a meeting in the Oval Office during which Trump said he wanted Giuliani to meet with Ukraine’s then President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky “to discuss his country’s investigation of either Hillary Clinton’s efforts to influence the 2016 campaign or something having to do with Hunter Biden and the 2020 election, or maybe both.” Yet Bolton — known for what a 2019 profile in The New Yorker called his “tremendous powers of recall” — said it was too much for him to fully understand. “In the various commentaries I heard on these subjects, they always seemed intermingled and confused, one reason I did not pay them much heed.” He resorts to making noises of concern about what he refers to as “the Giuliani theories.”

    In an epilogue, Bolton tries to have it multiple ways, saying that while he may have found Trump’s conduct “deeply disturbing,” it was the Democratic-controlled House that was guilty of “impeachment malpractice.” Instead of a “comprehensive investigation,” he sniffs, “they seemed governed more by their own political imperatives to move swiftly to vote on articles of impeachment.” He says they should have broadened their inquiry to include Halkbank and ZTE, but then neglects to mention that nothing was stopping him from saying as much, or from testifying if he was so terribly concerned.

    “Had I testified,” Bolton intones, “I am convinced, given the environment then existing because of the House’s impeachment malpractice, that it would have made no significant difference in the Senate outcome.” It’s a self-righteous and self-serving sort of fatalism that sounds remarkably similar to the explanation he gave years ago for preemptively signing up for the National Guard in 1970 and thereby avoiding service in Vietnam. “Dying for your country was one thing,” he wrote in his 2007 book “Surrender Is Not an Option, “but dying to gain territory that antiwar forces in Congress would simply return to the enemy seemed ludicrous to me.”

    When it comes to Bolton’s comments on impeachment, the clotted prose, the garbled argument and the sanctimonious defensiveness would seem to indicate some sort of ambivalence on his part — a feeling that he doesn’t seem to have very often. Or maybe it merely reflects an uncomfortable realization that he’s stuck between two incompatible impulses: the desire to appear as courageous as those civil servants who bravely risked their careers to testify before the House; and the desire to appease his fellow Republicans, on whom his own fastidiously managed career most certainly depends. It’s a strange experience reading a book that begins with repeated salvos about “the intellectually lazy” by an author who refuses to think through anything very hard himself.

    Yazı kaynağı : www.nytimes.com

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