Trump's former national security adviser refused to say any of this publicly during the impeachment investigation, opting instead to profit off of it with his soon-to-be-released book.
Anecdotes from former national security adviser John Bolton's forthcoming book began leaking on Wednesday, as reporters obtained early copies of the tell-all from the former top Donald Trump aide.
The revelations are damning, confirming the criticism from Democrats and other Trump detractors that Trump is an uninformed, dictator-loving, self-serving leader who doesn't listen to experts and flouts the rules to get what he wants.
Bolton infamously refused to testify to Congress about any of this during the impeachment investigation.
He first demanded Congress subpoena him, before saying through a lawyer that he'd fight a subpoena if it was issued. Then, after the House concluded its investigation and passed articles of impeachment against Trump, Bolton said he'd testify if the GOP-led Senate subpoenaed him — which never happened because Republicans took the unprecedented step of blocking witnesses from being heard.
Bolton then stayed quiet about his knowledge of Trump's actions until now, just before the book is released to the public. He has even agreed to an interview with ABC News "with no question off limits," according to the network.
Bolton's anecdotes are revealing. Here are the eight most damning tidbits that have leaked so far from Bolton's book:
He confirmed the Ukraine scheme that led to Trump's impeachment
Bolton said Trump did withhold military aid to Ukraine in order to force an investigation of now-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — which House impeachment managers said was an abuse of the office of the presidency.
Bolton also wrote that for Trump, "obstruction of justice" is "a way of life," and that high-level administration officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper all knew Trump's conduct was wrong.
"We could have confronted Trump directly, trying to refute the Giuliani theories and arguing that it was impermissible to leverage U.S. government authorities for personal political gain," Bolton wrote in the book, according to the Journal. "We almost certainly would have failed."
Trump asked China for reelection help
As Trump's trade war threatened the livelihood of American farmers, Trump flat-out asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy agricultural products from the United States to help him win in 2020.
"Trump came close, unilaterally offering that U.S. tariffs would remain at 10% rather than rise to 25%, as he had previously threatened," Bolton wrote of one trade negotiation, according to an excerpt from the book published in the Journal.
"In exchange, Trump asked merely for some increases in Chinese farm-product purchases, to help with the crucial farm-state vote. If that could be agreed, all the U.S. tariffs would be reduced. It was breathtaking," Bolton said.
Trump condoned Chinese concentration camps
Bolton said Trump once asked him why the United States would sanction China for its treatment of Uighur Muslims.
"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 [for the Uighurs] in Xinjiang," Bolton wrote in the excerpt published by the Journal. "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."
Trump wanted to execute journalists and prosecute his enemies
Bolton said Trump tried to emulate authoritarian leaders, according to the New York Times, which also obtained a copy of the yet-to-be-released tell-all.
According to the Times' report, Bolton wrote that Trump once called for journalists to be "executed," describing them as "scumbags."
Bolton also wrote that Trump wanted Attorney General William Barr to prosecute former Secretary of State John Kerry for speaking to Iran.
Trump offered favors to authoritarians
The Washington Post reported that Bolton accused Trump of offering corrupt favors to authoritarian leaders like Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Bolton wrote that in May 2018 Trump told Erdogan that he'd intervene in a U.S. investigation against a Turkish firm that was accused of violating Iranian sanctions.
"Trump then told Erdogan he would take care of things, explaining that the Southern District prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people," Bolton wrote in the book, according to the Post.
Trump asked if Finland was part of Russia
According to the Times, Bolton wrote that Trump was woefully unaware of basic geography and remedial world affairs.
For example, he didn't know if Finland was part of Russia (it's not), and whether the United Kingdom was a nuclear power (it is).
Mike Pompeo said Trump is "full of shit"
Bolton said Pompeo passed him a note that disparaged Trump as "so full of shit" during Trump's meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in 2018, according to the Times' report.
An anonymous source told Politico's Jake Sherman that the accusation is false, as Pompeo is "not a note passer." However, there is an image from a Reuters photographer showing that Pompeo does appear to pass notes.
Trump was obsessed with giving an Elton John CD to Kim Jong Un
Bolton wrote that Trump was obsessed with ensuring that Kim Jong Un received a signed CD of Elton John's "Rocket Man," a nod to Trump's nickname for the oppressive and violent dictator, according to the Post.
According to Bolton's book, Trump gave Pompeo of a copy the CD to give to Kim ahead of a trip Pompeo was making to negotiate a meeting between Trump and the North Korean autocrat.
"Getting this CD to Kim remained a high priority for several months," Bolton wrote in the book.